2008-09 Russell Athletic/WBCA East Region Coach of the Year
2008-09 Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year
Mark Swasey returns to Franklin Pierce University in 2019-20 (hiring release) for the first season of his second stint as head coach of the University's women's basketball program. The 15th head coach in program history, it will be his eighth season at the helm of the Ravens overall, as he was also the program's 11th head coach, from 2002-03 through 2008-09. Swasey ranks second in program history with 124 wins (124-85, .593 winning percentage), and earned Northeast-10 Conference and Russell Athletic/WBCA East Region Coach of the Year honors after leading the Ravens to a program-record 29 victories in 2008-09.
Following his first stint at Franklin Pierce, Swasey put together a 50-19 record (.725) over two-plus seasons at California University of Pennsylvania, a tenure which included appearances in the NCAA Championship in both 2010 and 2011. Adding in a 56-26 record (.683) over three seasons at Division III Norwich University to open his head coaching career, Swasey owns a 230-130 (.639) over 360 games as a collegiate head coach.
At the beginning of his first stint in Rindge, in 2002, Swasey took over a program with a rich history that had hit tough times and led the program to a period of unprecedented success, developing the women's basketball team into a regular postseason participant and earning Northeast-10 Conference Championship appearances in six of his seven years. The Ravens went a combined 89-37 (.706) under Swasey for the final four years of his first tenure, culminating in back-to-back NCAA regional championships following the program's first NCAA Tournament berth since 1999 in 2007-08. In 2008-09, Franklin Pierce captured both the Northeast-10 regular season and tournament championships for the first time since joining the Conference in 2000, en route to their first ever appearance in the NCAA National Championshop game. The team also captured the 2006 ECAC Division II Championship - the program's first postseason title since the 1991-92 season.
Swasey has proven to be an astute evaluator of talent over his career. That talent was able to shine at Franklin Pierce as the Ravens regularly placed players on the NE10's All-Rookie team under his guidance. Star recruit, Johannah Leedham, became the first player from the Northeast-10 to be named the State Farm/WBCA Division II Player of the Year in 2007-08 and again in 2008-09, and followed up the first All-American selection in program history in 2006-07 with First Team All-America honors each of the next three years. Leedham was also named the Northeast-10 Player of the Year as a sophomore, junior and senior after earning NE-10 Freshman of the Year honors in 2006-07.
In addition to the three All-America selections Leedham earned under Swasey (the fourth came after his departure), the coach mentored six All-Northeast-10 selections over his seven seasons in Rindge. The Ravens also performed in the classroom, with seven earning NE10 All-Academic honors since the program was initiated in 2004-05 - led by Leedham who was a two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District I first team honoree. The Ravens were also recognized as a team for their academic excellence when their 3.399 cumulative team GPA in 2007-08 ranked them 21st in the WBCA Academic Top 25 for the year.
Swasey has been active with the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association (WBCA) and previously served on the Association's Division II Top 25 poll voting committee.
Swasey, a native of nearby Charlestown, N.H., came to Franklin Pierce after a successful three-year stay at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. Swasey posted a 56-26 (.683) record at the University and led the Lady Cadets to three-straight trips to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship game.
In his first season at Norwich, Swasey led the Cadets to an 18-10 record, the GNAC Championship and the first NCAA Division III Tournament bid in program history. The next year he brought along a program which consisted of two seniors, two juniors and nine freshmen to finish with a 17-9 overall record. The team fell in the Conference Championship to eventual NCAA Division III Final Four participant Emmanuel College.
In Swasey's final season at Norwich in 2001-02, the Cadets posted a 21-7 clip and earned a trip to the ECAC Tournament after falling to Emmanuel again in the GNAC title game. The Lady Cadets defeated Wellesley College in the first round of the ECAC's, before falling to Babson College in the semifinals. For his efforts, Swasey was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year by his peers.
Swasey's two recruiting classes at Norwich produced the Conference's Rookie of the Year each of the last two seasons. He brings to Franklin Pierce a recruiting background from several different collegiate levels.
Swasey is no stranger to National Tournament play. Prior to his arrival at Norwich, he was an assistant coach for the 1998-99 Black Hills State University men's basketball team, a perennial NAIA II powerhouse. That season, the Jackets were one game away from reaching the NAIA II Final Four, falling to the eventual National Champions.
Swasey's roots in the Monadnock Region are strong. The Charlestown native earned his Master's Degree in education from Keene State College and served as an assistant coach under Keith Boucher during the Owls latter stages of NCAA Division II status from 1992-95.
After finishing at Keene State, Swasey moved to South Dakota and began his head coaching career at the high school level. In the 1995 season, Swasey took a girls basketball team that won just two games the previous year to the District 1B Championship. A year later, Swasey moved over to the boys ranks and led the Hill City Rangers to its best seasons on record to that point, including a 16-5 mark and Rushmore Conference Championship in 1997-98.
Swasey holds a Bachelor's Degree from Lyndon State College as well as his Master's in Education from Keene State College. He and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Swanzey.
The Swasey File (230-130, 12 seasons -- .639 winning percentage)
California University of Pennsylvania (50-19, .725)
2010-11: 23-8, 11-3 PSAC -- PSAC finalist -- NCAA Championship (second round)
2009-10: 24-8, 11-3 PSAC -- PSAC finalist -- NCAA Championship (second round)
Franklin Pierce University (124-85, .593)
#@2008-09: 29-6, 18-4 NE10 -- NE10 Champion -- NE10 regular season title -- NCAA East Region champion -- National finalist
2007-08: 27-6, 18-4 NE10 -- NE10 semifinalist -- NCAA East Region champion -- National quarterfinalist
2006-07: 17-11, 13-9 NE10 -- NE10 first round
2005-06: 16-14, 11-11 NE10 -- NE10 first round -- ECAC champion
2004-05: 14-14, 10-12 NE10 -- NE10 first round
2003-04: 8-19, 3-19 NE10
2002-03: 13-15, 8-14 NE10 -- NE10 Championship first round
# WBCA Division II Coach of the Year
@ NE10 Coach of the Year
Norwich University (56-26, .683)
@2001-02: 21-7, 11-1 GNAC -- GNAC finalist -- ECAC Tournament
2000-01: 17-9, 10-2 GNAC -- GNAC finalist
1999-2000: 18-10, 9-3 GNAC -- GNAC finalist -- NCAA Tournament
@ GNAC Coach of the Year