Haigh resigns as SFU’s head women’s basketball coach


Saint Francis University has announced that Joe Haigh will be resigning as head coach of the Saint Francis University women’s basketball team, effective February 1.

Haigh led the team to 93 wins – which is second-most overall out of any coach in the program’s history. During the 2017-18 season, he led the team to the NEC regular season and tournament championship. The team then lost first round in the NCAA Tournament to top-seed Connecticut.  

“Over the past ten years, especially as head coach during the last six plus seasons, I have given virtually all my time and energy to coaching and developing young women at Saint Francis,” said Haigh. “Most of my waking moments have been dedicated to some aspect of the basketball program, and have applied tremendous pressure to myself especially during last season’s Championship run, and in the ensuing months leading into the 2018-19 academic year.”

He went on by saying, “While my priorities have been centered on a constant pursuit of excellence in our basketball program, I did not balance my priorities outside of basketball well, affecting my family and my health. With our oldest daughter graduating from high school this year, I now recognize that I’ve missed things that should have been more important in my life such as time with my children. At this time, I am stepping away to focus on my family to be a better father and husband, as well as focus on my health so that I can learn to better balance these priorities as a coach in the future. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to coach the Saint Francis University Red Flash Women’s Basketball program.”

“Joe Haigh and I have discussed this, and I know this was not an easy decision for him,” said Dr. Frank Montecalvo, Vice President for Innovative Partnerships and Student Development, who heads up the Athletics Division. “Under his coaching, the women’s basketball program has been a model of success in the classroom, in the community, and as a championship contender on the court.  I am saddened that Joe is stepping down but I have deep respect for his decision which is in the best interest of his family.”

Haigh was granted a leave of absence on November 13 from his coaching role. Director of Athletics Susan Robinson-Fruchtl took over the position of coach for the season, already in progress.

“We want to thank Susan for her dedication to both the student-athletes and the University as a whole,” said Dr. Montecalvo. Robinson-Fruchtl will continue to lead the team while long-term plans are finalized.

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