by Kevin McCaskill Jr.
4/12/23 * 4:45 PM
(AMHERST, MA) - On Wednesday afternoon, slightly after 1 PM, Mike Leflar reached a milestone in his coaching career: Leflar was introduced as the 12th Women’s Basketball Head Coach at UMass. Leflar came up in the coaching ranks as an assistant and associate head coach and today marks the beginning of his time as the leader of UMass Women’s Basketball.
(Mike Leflar and AD Ryan Bamford )
The Massachusetts Room in the Mullins Center had a lot of positive energy in it. There was staff from the Men’s Basketball program in attendance; graduating players Destiny Philoxy and Sam Breen were in attendance to congratulate the new HC; Leflar’s family including his father, his wife and his children were there to see his accomplishment.
(Sam Breen, Mike Leflar & Destiny Philoxy)
The press conference was hosted by Jay Burnham. UMass Athletic Director Ryan Bamford made a brief speech before introducing Leflar. AD Bamford spoke about his relationship with Leflar for the past 5 years and where he hopes the program will go under the leadership of Leflar.
(AD Ryan Bamford)
The new HC got up to speak at the press conference dedicated to his promotion. Leflar spoke with conviction in his speech. Leflar and Bamford both believe that UMass Women’s Basketball is in a good place for the future.
Leflar’s speech was also emotional. There were a couple points in his speech where he paused and collected himself to finish his thought. The emotion he displayed today signifies that this is a job he wants and a job he has worked hard for.
The entire starting lineup from the ‘22-‘23 season is gone, potentially. Breen and Philoxy will be graduating in a couple of months; Ber’Nyah Mayo, Sydney Taylor and Angelique Ngalakulondi have entered the transfer portal. Mayo and Taylor inferred in their transfer portal announcement posts that they are open to returning to the program. Only time will tell what they choose to do.
Today and moving forward, Mike Leflar is the leader of UMass Women’s Basketball and he definitely has robust support behind him.