Maria Conlon wants to share her love of basketball.
Conlon, a former Seymour and University of Connecticut women’s basketball standout has been named the next girls basketball head coach at Notre Dame-Fairfield, the school announced Tuesday afternoon.
Conlon takes over for Eric DeMarco, whom she played for at Seymour and was an assistant under at Notre Dame-Fairfield. DeMarco retired as head coach in August.
“For me, I have a huge passion for the game,” Conlon said. “I have played the game, coached the game and have learned a lot over the years. I know every player is different and I want to be able to get the best out of each student. I want to bring an enthusiasm that is felt by the players.”
Conlon is inheriting a team which went 19-1 in the regular season before losing to eventual champions Hillhouse in the semifinals of the CIAC Class L tournament.
The team returns many starters, some of whom are familiar to Conlon from her time coaching at Notre Dame.
“I know three of the girls but I followed the program last year when I wasn’t coaching them,” Conlon said. “What I think I bring along with my enthusiasm and knowledge of the game is I know a lot of college coaches and can really help a player navigate the recruiting process.”
Conlon coached two seasons with DeMarco before leaving last season to start a training business.
A Derby native, Conlon starred for coach Joe Frager and DeMarco as a point guard at Seymour in the late 1990s, where she scored 1,727 points, including a state-record 246 3-pointers, and had her No. 5 jersey retired after winning 94 games, four NVL titles and two state championships.
At UConn, she led the Huskies to four Final Fours, winning three national championships and to a 70-game win streak.
Conlon was inducted in the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
“I could not be more excited to accept the position as head coach of the Notre Dame of Fairfield Girls’ basketball team,” Conlon said. “It is a school and basketball program with great tradition and I am honored to be a part of this next chapter with them.”
“The sport of basketball has given me so much over the years. I am thrilled to be able to give back to it in this way and coach and develop these young athletes both on and off the court. I can’t wait to share all of my enthusiasm, experience, and knowledge of the sport with the girls and getting out there on the hardwood floors can’t come soon enough. I am very committed and so excited to join the ND family. Notre Dame Girls’ Basketball will continue to ascend as one of Connecticut’s top girls’ programs in the state.”
Prior to joining the Notre Dame staff three years ago, Conlon was an assistant head coach at Southern Connecticut State University and a graduate assistant at UConn. She is a managing partner of Maffe Financial Group and the owner of Swagg Crossfit and Battlecon Consulting.
“I am very excited to welcome Coach Conlon to Notre Dame as our new Head Girls’ Basketball coach,” athletic director Rob Bleggi said in a statement released by the school. “Her knowledge and understanding of the game of basketball is undeniable. The experience and professionalism she brings with her will only help continue the winning tradition of girls’ basketball at ND.”