Carla Berube, an assistant coach at Providence the last two years, has been hired as head coach of the Tufts women's basketball team. The announcement was made today by Tufts athletic director Bill Gehling.
Berube was selected from a pool of nearly 100 applicants to replace Janice Savitz, who retired this spring after eight years at Tufts. A 1997 graduate of the University of Connecticut, Berube played on the Huskies' 1995 undefeated national championship team. She was drafted out of UConn to play with the New England Blizzard of the American Basketball League in 1997. After gaining Division I coaching experience at Providence, she is now the seventh coach in the 30-year history of the Tufts team.
“I'm very excited,” she said. “I was looking for Division III jobs in New England. I'm from here and I wanted to stay. Tufts is the perfect situation. I love Boston, and NESCAC is one of the best leagues in the country. I want to coach student-athletes and players who have the love and passion for the game like I do.”
To the Tufts committee that selected her, Berube is a rising star. As a player at UConn she was part of a team that compiled a 132-8 record during her four seasons. A captain of the 1996-97 team that finished 33-1 and went to the Final Four, Berube played in 138 career games with the Huskies and ranks 14th on their all-time scoring list with 1,381 points. She graduated with a degree in sociology.
The Blizzard then selected Berube with the 21st pick in the 1997 ABL draft. She played for the team from June 1997 until December 1998, and along the way coordinated several youth clinics sponsored by the organization. She was hired as an assistant coach at Providence in August 2000 and was soon handling major assignments such as game plans and scouting reports against competitive Division I opponents.
“Most of who I am as a coach came from what I learned at UConn under Coach (Geno) Auriemma and Coach (Chris) Dailey,” she said. “We were taught to be proud of ourselves. Each player had a role in our system. The person who played 40 minutes a game was no different than the person who played one minute. I learned a lot of the behind-the-scenes aspects of coaching at Providence, but my style comes from UConn.”
Berube, 26, will now oversee the Jumbos, members of the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Tufts is coming off a disappointing 9-14 season, but a core of talent returns and will give Berube a foundation to begin with. Success in the classroom has long been a team tradition. This past winter, co-captains Jayme Busnengo and Hillary Dunn were two of five Tufts women named to the Academic All-NESCAC team. Berube will look to rebuild a program that has been absent from postseason play since 1995.
“Carla was a tremendous competitor as a player who played at the highest level in college and professionally,” Gehling said. “In addition, she is a talented young coach with a contagious passion for the game. We are extremely excited to have her joining our staff and leading our women's basketball team.”