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Villanova Hires New Head Women’s Basketball Coach Denise Dillon

This season, Villanova was tasked with something it didn’t have to consider since 1978. After 42 seasons, women’s basketball Head Coach Harry Perretta retired, forcing Villanova to search for a new leader of the program. On Friday, the University hired new Head Coach Denise Dillon, a Villanova alum and a Varsity Club Hall of Fame inductee.

Dillon spent the last 17 years as the Drexel Head Women’s Basketball Coach, compiling a 329-204 record during that span. In the past four seasons, her teams finished with a 96-35 record and advanced to postseason play each year.

“17 years was an opportunity for me to grow for a position here at Villanova,” Dillon said. “There’s only one place that I would leave Drexel for, and that’s Villanova.”

Filling the spot of former head coach Harry Perretta is no small task, as Perretta put together an unprecedented career in his 42 seasons. He ends his career with 783 wins, 20 twenty-win seasons, and 11 NCAA Tournament appearances.

“It’s surreal,” Dillon said. “It’s hard to believe I’m in this position as the successor to the person who started it all for me.”

Dillon played for Perretta from 1993 to 1996 and was an All-Big East honoree, as well as a three-time All-Big 5 selection.

The new head coach has many assests to work with come next season, including returning unanimous Big East Rookie of the Year, Madison Siegrist. However, she also looks forward to adding her own “wrinkle” to the Villanova gameplan.

“Our girls will learn early and often the importance of turning it up on the defensive end,” she said.

After 17 seasons, Dillon returns home to begin a new chapter of her coaching career.

“It’s a dream come true,” she said.

Effort. Energy. Together.

Those are the words that Dillon ascribed to her coaching mentality. Those are the concepts she will ingrain in the Villanova women’s basketball program in her first season as head coach.




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