Former Le Moyne women’s basketball head coach Mary Grimes was introduced as the new leader of Binghamton University’s women’s basketball program at a Friday afternoon Events Center press conference. Grimes joins BU off the back of a 2023-24 campaign, where was named Northeast Conference Coach of the Year after leading Le Moyne to a 15-win season and an appearance in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament tournament.

“It’s been a great process learning about what Binghamton is,” Grimes said. “There’s some familiarity, being in the America East (AE) before [at UAlbany] and understanding that this is a top-notch institution. I think we’re going to present an exciting brand of basketball [at Binghamton]. We’re going to be fun to watch. I’ve met the team, they’ve got great personalities [and] they’re very likable young women. [Fans] are going to get a personal experience when they come to [Binghamton] women’s basketball games.”

Grimes’ most recent season with Le Moyne saw the program transition from the Division II to Division I level. In her prior two years with the Division II Dolphins, Grimes led the team to two Northeast-10 (NE-10) titles and two berths in the Division II tournament. She took home NE-10 Coach of the Year in 2023.

“The fact that [Grimes] can recruit, that she can relate [and] the fact that she’s good with the X’s and O’s all kind of made it a great package,” said Eugene Marshall, Jr., the University’s athletic director “I had the opportunity to watch [Grimes] coach on a couple of occasions, and she has the total package. She’s very humble. It’s not about her, it’s about the team. It’s not about what happened in the past, it’s about the next [championship] ring. I think the [women’s basketball players] resonated with that.”

As an assistant coach, Grimes helped lead fellow AE school UAlbany to five consecutive AE conference titles as the Great Danes went 60-4 in regular season play during the final four years of her tenure. After departing UAlbany, Grimes spent two years as an assistant coach at Xavier before heading back upstate to coach the program at Le Moyne. Grimes, a Detroit native, had a successful college basketball career at Siena where she was a two-time team captain, helping the Saints reach the women’s NCAA tournament in 2001.

“I’m going to tap into all those experiences [at UAlbany and Le Moyne],” Grimes said. “Being familiar with the [AE] conference, understanding the recruiting process. I’m a heavy recruiter in New York. I want to own the Thruway [in recruiting]. That’s where it starts. Getting out there and understanding the [AE] bodes well for me.”

The change in leadership follows a 14-17 season for the Bearcats, as they went 8-8 in AE play. After falling to Maine in the conference semifinals, the Bearcats parted ways with head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord [HYPERLINK] after six seasons at the helm in hopes of more success with its talented cast.

“We took over the program at [UAlbany] and we just used the talent we had and figured out how to win games,” Grimes said. “Then we recruited the talent to win [AE] championships. Then we recruited the talent to win a first-round game in the NCAA tournament. It starts with that recruiting process and getting the talent that’s needed to win.”

Among those present to introduce Grimes as the new head coach was junior guard Jadyn Weltz, the Bearcats returning leader in total points scored, assists and steals from last season. Weltz spoke both of how the team has handled the process of finding a new coach and the team’s enthusiasm with Grimes taking charge.

“From the team’s perspective, I can definitely say we’re all excited,” Weltz said. “There’s a lot of opportunity for the future. We have all the pieces now and the opportunities are endless with that. We’ve been here [working] for the past month and we’re not stopping. Regardless of who filled the [head coaching] position we were going to be ready and continue to work.”