Mike Lonergan

Michael Thomas Lonergan (born January 28, 1966) is the former head coach of the George Washington University Colonials men's basketball team.[1] He replaced Karl Hobbs.[2] He was formerly the coach of the University of Vermont Catamounts and the Catholic University of America (CUA) and before that a point guard for CUA.[3]

Mike Lonergan
Mike Lonergan.jpg
Lonergan in February, 2015
Biographical details
Born (1966-01-28) January 28, 1966 (age 54)
Bowie, Maryland
Playing career
Position(s)Point guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1988–1989American International (assistant)
1989–1992Colgate (assistant)
2004–2005Maryland (assistant)
2011–2016George Washington
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
NCAA Division III Tournament (2001)
NIT (2016)
America East Tournament (2010)
3 America East regular season (2007, 2009, 2011)
NCAA Division III Coach of the Year (2001)
CAC Coach of the Year (1998, 2000, 2001, 2003)
America East Coach of the Year (2007, 2011)


Early life and educationEdit

Lonergan grew up in Bowie, Maryland[citation needed] and attended Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington,[citation needed] D.C. Lonergan's late mother and first coach, Maureen, was coach and athletic director at Bladensburg's Elizabeth Seton High School.[4] His father, Jack, was a successful college baseball player, gaining national attention for pitching a one-hitter for Holy Cross in the 1952 College World Series.[4] Lonergan holds a B.A. in History from CUA and an M.S. in Criminal Justice from American International College.[5]

Coaching careerEdit

In 12 seasons at CUA, Lonergan guided the Cardinals to nine NCAA Tournaments, and an overall record of 251-88, a school-best .740 winning percentage. The Cardinals won seven straight regular-season conference championships (1997–2004). No other college coach in the nation during that time – at any NCAA division – accomplished that feat. Lonergan was recognized for the achievement during the 2004 NCAA Division I Final Four.[6] The team won the 2001 Division III National Championship during that run.

After spending the 2004-05 season as an assistant at University of Maryland, College Park under Gary Williams, where he helped the Terrapins to the NIT Semifinals, Lonergan accepted the head coaching position at the University of Vermont, replacing Tom Brennan. Lonergan coached the Catamounts for six seasons where he averaged 21 wins a year and finished with a career record of 126-68 and .649 winning percentage at UVM, which is the second highest in school history among coaches with at least 100 career decisions, behind current UVM coach John Becker. In the last six seasons he guided Vermont to four postseason appearances, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2010. He ranks third all-time at UVM in career wins.[7]

In May 2011, Lonergan was hired by George Washington University Athletic Director and former America East Commissioner Patrick Nero to take over as head coach of the Colonials. Early in his tenure, Lonergan highlighted his origins in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and his understanding of Colonials basketball's historical reliance on foreign-born recruits and committed to recruiting locally, nationally and internationally.[8] His first complete recruiting class boasted two players from the DC area and players from Argentina, Greece and Denmark.[9]

The Colonials struggled to consecutive losing records under Lonergan in 2011-12 and 2012–13, marking the first time in his Division I coaching career that a Lonergan-coached team failed to reach the postseason in consecutive seasons. In 2013-14, GW finished the year 24-9, finishing third in the Atlantic 10 and earning a ninth-seed in the NCAA Tournament, where the Colonials lost to Memphis.

Following the trip to the NCAAs, George Washington announced that Lonergan had signed a contract extension that keeps him at GW through the 2020-21 season.[10]

Mike Lonergan completed his fourth season as head coach for men's basketball at George Washington University in 2014-15, leading the Colonials to back-to-back 20-win seasons and postseason appearances for the first time since 2006 and 2007. He guided GW to 22 victories, seventh-most in a season in program history, and a return trip to the postseason with an at-large selection to the National Invitation Tournament. Coach Lonergan helped the Colonials post a 60-54 opening round victory at Pittsburgh for the program's first-ever win in five NIT appearances.[3]

Lonergan led the Colonials to a 5-0 record to open the 2015-16 season, including a noteworthy upset victory over the No. 6 Virginia Cavaliers on November 16, 2015. This was George Washington's first win over an opponent ranked that high since beating No. 1 Massachusetts 78-75 on Feb. 5, 1995.[11] The Colonials would go on to finish the regular season with a 23-10 record, good enough for an NIT invite for a second consecutive season. They would go on to win the NIT Championship Game that season.

In a July 21, 2016 article in the Washington Post, several former players charged Lonergan with "verbal and emotional abuse", charges that Lonergan did not respond to in a statement. The article also noted that three players transferred out of the university after each of the previous four seasons.[12] Later that day, George Washington University announced that it was hiring outside counsel to assist in the investigation of these allegations.[13] Lonergan was fired on September 16, 2016, reportedly on the basis of the allegations.[14] Nearly a year later on September 13, 2017, Lonergan and George Washington officials settled the former coach's legal dispute against the school over his firing. Both sides continue to maintain their initial positions, but per the agreement the settlement cannot be publicly discussed.[15]

On the May 10, 2017 edition of Randy Foye's Outside Shot podcast, guest Jeremy Lin described an incident which alleged that a Vermont coach called Lin, an Asian-American, a racial slur while Lin was playing for Harvard in a game at Vermont in 2006.[16] Lonergan refuted the allegation.[17][18] On November 18, 2018, Deadspin published a story which detailed the conduct and dismissals of both former George Washington athletic director Patrick Nero and Lonergan along with the tumultuous relationship between the two.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Lonergan and his wife Maggie have five children: John (Jack), Margaret, Michael Jr., Robert (Moe) and Regina.[3] Mike and Maggie met while both working at the basketball camp of legendary DeMatha Catholic High School coach Morgan Wootten.[20] Lonergan has been involved with the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign from the beginning to help raise awareness about the devastating disease which took his mother's life.[21]

Head coaching recordEdit

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Catholic University Cardinals[22] (Capital Athletic Conference) (1992–2004)
1992–93 Catholic 21–6 11–3 1st NCAA Division III First Round
1993–94 Catholic 9–16 6–6 T–3rd
1994–95 Catholic 16–10 10–4 2nd
1995–96 Catholic 19–8 11–2 T–1st NCAA Division III First Round
1996–97 Catholic 12–13 6–8 T–5th
1997–98 Catholic 25–4 14–0 1st NCAA Division III Sweet 16
1998–99 Catholic 23–7 12–2 T–1st NCAA Division III Sweet 16
1999–00 Catholic 24–5 13–1 1st NCAA Division III Elite Eight
2000–01 Catholic 28–5 11–3 1st NCAA Division III Champion
2001–02 Catholic 26–3 13–1 1st NCAA Division III Sweet 16
2002–03 Catholic 24–5 13–1 1st NCAA Division III Second Round
2003–04 Catholic 24–6 12–2 T–1st NCAA Division III Second Round
Catholic: 251–88 (.740) 133–33 (.801)
Vermont Catamounts (America East Conference) (2005–2011)
2005–06 Vermont 13–17 7–9 T–6th
2006–07 Vermont 25–8 15–1 1st NIT First Round
2007–08 Vermont 16–15 9–7 T–4th
2008–09 Vermont 24–9 13–3 T–1st CBI Second Round
2009–10 Vermont 25–10 12–4 2nd NCAA Division I First Round
2010–11 Vermont 23–9 13–3 1st NIT First Round
Vermont: 126–68 (.649) 69–27 (.719)
George Washington Colonials (Atlantic 10 Conference) (2011–2016)
2011–12 George Washington 10–21 5–11 T–11th
2012–13 George Washington 13–17 7–9 T–11th
2013–14 George Washington 24–9 11–5 T–3rd NCAA Division I Second Round
2014–15 George Washington 22–13 10–8 T–6th NIT Second Round
2015–16 George Washington 28–10 11–7 5th NIT Champion
George Washington: 97–70 (.581) 44–39 (.530)
Total: 474–226 (.677)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ "GW to hire Lonergan as coach". csnwashington.com. Retrieved 5 May 2011.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Vermont's Lonergan takes George Washington job". Associated Press. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "Mike Lonergan". George Washington University. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "The Other Side of Mike Lonergan's Gene Pool". washingtontimes.com. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  5. ^ "GW names Mike Lonergan as head men's basketball coach". gwsports.com. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Flight of the Cardinals: A 100-year history of CUA men's basketball". 1 November 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Lonergan Resigns as Vermont Men's Basketball Coach". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Elfin: Lonergan Working To Rebuild GW Program". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Larsen, McDonald Sign NLI's to Join GW Men's Basketball Program". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  10. ^ "George Washington Extends Contract of Men's Head Basketball Coach Mike Lonergan". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Virginia's loss proves it needs another playmaker". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  12. ^ Kilgore, Adam (July 21, 2016). "GW basketball players report coach's 'verbal and emotional abuse'; many fled school". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  13. ^ Bieler, Des (July 21, 2016). "GW to bring in 'outside counsel' to assist in probe of Mike Lonergan allegations". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  14. ^ Lonegran fired USA Today, 2016-09-16, Retrieved 2016-09-17
  15. ^ Feinstein, John (13 September 2017). "GWU settles dispute with former basketball coach Mike Lonergan over his firing" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  16. ^ "Lin: Racist comments more common in college". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Lonergan denies claims of racial remarks". The GW Hatchet. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  18. ^ Fleishman, Scott. "Lonergan responds to Lin claim". Archived from the original on 15 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  19. ^ McKenna, Dave. "The Real Story Behind The Lewd Video And Bitter Feud That Tore Apart GW's Athletic Department". Deadspin.
  20. ^ "A job that provides all the comforts of home". washingtontimes.com. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  21. ^ "Lonergan Among Coaches vs. Cancer Group Honored at Yankee Stadium Wednesday". gwsports.com. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  22. ^ Capital Athletic Conference Record Book, 2016, pp. 107-111.

External linksEdit