By William S. Paxton
When it came to finding sound advice about making a major change in his coaching career, Ed Swanson only needed to look inside his own house for help.
The Sacred Heart women’s basketball coach’s wife not only happens to be mother of their two children, but also known as Dr. Marion Swanson, PsyD.
So before the Swansons turned in for the night last Thursday they discussed the job offer on the table from William & Mary to run its women’s basketball program and Marion suggested they sleep on a decision.
When they awoke Friday morning, Dr. Swanson had one simple question for her patient.
“Are you going to regret (not taking) this in two or three years,” she asked.
“I think so,” Swanson replied.
Without hesitation, Marion Swanson responded “lets go!”
After 23 years leading the Pioneers to the top of the Northeast Conference – including three conference championship and three NCAA Tournament trips – Swanson was named the head coach of the Tribe during a press conference Tuesday morning in Williamsburg, Va.
“It’s the right situation at the right time in my life,” Swanson said by phone. “The players remind me of the players at Sacred Heart University and athletics director Terry Driscoll is similar to (SHU AD) Don Cook.”
During his two-decade-plus tenure at SHU, Swanson took a cellar-dwelling Division II program that didn’t even have a full-time coaching staff and made it a perennial mid-major power at the Division I level in the NEC. The Pioneers never finished lower than third since joining the NEC in 1999 and never missed the postseason once it became eligible.
The Tribe are already an established D-I program in the Colonial Athletic Association, but come off an 8-22 campaign and were in need of a program revival.
Swanson is the man they are banking on to lead it.
“I hope to do what I have done at Sacred Heart,” said Swanson, who reportedly receive a five-year deal for an undisclosed sum. “I don’t have to change my style of play or my philosophy on coaching. It’s just the right fit.”