Following the mid-May departure of assistant coach Chester Nichols, the Michigan women’s basketball program announced Friday it will replace him with Megan Duffy.
Coming off two years as the associate head coach at George Washington, Duffy isn’t unfamiliar to Barnes Arico. She was Barnes Arico’s assistant from 2009-12 at St. John’s, where Barnes Arico coached for a decade before accepting her current job in Ann Arbor.
“I am thrilled to be able to get Megan Duffy back on our staff,” Barnes Arico said in a statement. “I had an opportunity to watch her as a player at Notre Dame, and she played with incredible passion and determination.”
Duffy led Notre Dame to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. She is one of four players in school history to have contributed 1,000 points, 500 assists and 200 steals in her career and played three seasons in the WNBA. She’s originally from the Midwest, too, having attended Chaminade-Julienne High School in Dayton, Ohio.
Barnes Arico went on to recall St. John’s snapping of Connecticut’s 99-game home winning streak in February 2012. Shenneika Smith, who hit the game-winner and brought the Huskies’ streak to an end, was one of two players to be selected in the WNBA draft after playing for Duffy and Barnes Arico at St. John’s.
Duffy served as George Washington’s recruiting coordinator and also assisted with player development, on-court coaching and academic performance. The Colonials finished 23-11 in 2013-14, their highest win total since 2008.
Duffy rounds out a staff that also features assistants Melanie Moore and Joy McCorvey, one that Barnes Arico referred to as “one of the most well-rounded staffs nationally” in the statement.
Nichols departed Michigan on his own terms in late May to accept a position as an associate head coach at West Virginia, where he spent five seasons as an assistant from 2004-09. During his two years in Ann Arbor, Nichols was also heavily involved in recruiting.
Not coincidentally, the Wolverines have Nichols to thank for the presence of their most prolific scorer. As an assistant at West Virginia, Nichols recruited Shannon Smith when she was just an eighth grader, and he re-recruited her five years later as a freshman looking to transfer from North Carolina.
In her first year as a Wolverine, Smith averaged a team-high 13.8 points per game and posted four 20-point games a year after leading Trinity Valley (Texas) to a junior college national championship.