PHILADELPHIA CREAM – The head coach of the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team, Mike McLaughlinofficially announced an addition to his squad for the upcoming season, naming Jim Ricci as assistant coach.
“I am extremely happy to welcome Jim Ricci to our coaching staff,” McLaughlin said. “Jim’s knowledge of the game combined with his years of experience will be a tremendous asset to our program. He is a proven winner who, both as a head coach and assistant coach at the high school and college levels, has played a major role in creating successful championship caliber programs. He is one of the finest tacticians in the game and I can’t wait to see the impact he will have on the growth of our players and our team.” .
Ricci joins the Quakers after spending seven seasons with the Division II University of the Sciences here in Philadelphia as an assistant coach. The Devils compiled a 168-48 record throughout his time there, qualifying for the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) tournament every year while winning five South Division titles and three CACC tournaments ( 2017, 18 and 22).
“I’m so honored to join the Penn women’s basketball family,” Ricci said. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to join an experienced team led by one of the country’s most successful head coaches at one of the most prestigious universities in the world.”
They qualified for five consecutive NCAA Tournaments from 2017-22, and the Devils were one of five DII teams to win a game in four of the tournaments. The team won its first-ever NCAA tournament game in 2016-17 before winning two in 2017-18 to advance to its first-ever Sweet 16 and East Region Finals.
In 2017-18, USciences set program records for wins (30), regular season wins (25), consecutive wins (18), CACC wins for a 19-game schedule (17), national ranking (No. 11), and regional ranking (No. 2). The Devils then tied or broke all those records in 2018-19, winning 30 games with 26 regular season wins, including 18 in CACC games.
The Devils also finished in the DII’s top 10 in three-pointers every season from 2016-18 through 2019-20.
Ricci came to USciences after spending nine years with the Archbishop Wood women’s basketball program where he won three consecutive PIAA 3A state titles from 2010 to 2012. He went 152-48 and was voted coach of the year by AP Writers of Pennsylvania twice. In his nine years, 21 of his players played at the college level, including Penn’s assistant recruiting coordinator, Ashley Robinsonwho played at nearby Saint Joseph.
Ricci is a Philadelphia native, graduating from Father Judge High School before graduating from La Salle.