Two Former Yale Basketball Coaches Named Legends of Ivy League Basketball

On Monday, the Ivy League announced its 16-member inaugural class for the Legends of Ivy League Basketball. Representing Yale will be former head coaches Joe Vancisin and Louise O’Neal.

Vancisin coached the Bulldogs for 19 seasons, winning two Ivy League titles and appearing in two NCAA tournaments. His 206 career victories continue to stand as the second-most in school history. After leaving Yale in 1975, Vancisin served as the National Association of Basketball Coaches executive director for 17 years before retiring in 1992.

Before he was a coach, Vancisin was a notable Ivy League athlete. He played baseball and basketball at Dartmouth College where he was a starter for the Big Green’s 1944 Eastern Intercollegiate Championship team that reached the NCAA Championship game.

Before coming to Yale, O’Neal build her legacy at another Connecticut school, Southern Connecticut State University. She served as head coach of the Owls from 1962-1976, compiling a 144-37 record with eight consecutive appearances in the National Women’s Collegiate Championships.

After the 1976 season, O’Neal joined Yale as the Assistant Director of Athletics and the head women’s basketball coach. In just three years, she overhauled the Bulldogs from a fifth-place finisher into a Ivy League-winning team.

After her stint in New Haven, Conn., O’Neal ended her coaching career but served as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics at Dartmouth College and then became the Director of Athletics at Wellesley College in 1990. O’Neal is a member of the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and she will be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame this summer.

According to, Vancisin will receive recognition during halftime of the men’s basketball game versus Harvard on March 11. O’Neal will be honored during the Princeton-Harvard women’s game. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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