On April 14, Maureen Magarity left UNH to become the next women’s basketball head coach at Holy Cross.
On April 15, New Hampshire elevated her interim successor, Kelsey Hogan, and it couldn’t make more sense.
Hogan, 29, has served on the UNH staff since 2014, first as an assistant, then as associate head coach beginning in 2019. She played at New Hampshire from 2008-2014, too, ranking 12th all-time in scoring (1,181) and fourth in assists (375) in Wildcats history.
If that’s not enough, she’s a New Hampshire native, growing up and learning the ropes of the game in Nashua, roughly an hour drive from the UNH campus in Durham.
“It’s my dream job,” Hogan said. “It’s always been a goal of mine.”
Hogan has the opportunity to take the temporary tag off and become the program’s permanent boss, as New Hampshire Director of Athletics Marty Scarano has made it clear that she is a candidate for the position. The prospect is exciting for the new head coach, but there is a lot more work to be done before that can be secured.
“My goals for the program right now are to continue to grow and build together,” she explained. “I know that’s broad, but we’re a very young group. I want to get this program to where it deserves to be, especially being a proud and passionate alum, and I think we have the right pieces. We just need to be putting it all together.”
She outlined some of the Xs and Os she plans to employ, pointing out that New Hampshire will have to play a more guard-heavy style with the departure of post player Ashley Storey, who led the Wildcats in scoring, rebounding and blocks last season.
But for as important as in-game coaching and strategy are, the relationship aspect of the program is the greater key, Hogan said. She learned that from Magarity, among other important things.
“Being a good mentor, building relationships, and it starts with the student-athletes,” Kelsey Hogan said. “It continues with administration; it continues with recruits. It’s all about relationship building and being transparent with them, with trust and communication behind those. Another thing is her management style. Being on staff with her, growing with her, you get that influence, which has been huge, never mind of course the Xs and Os. It’s the program I started with as a player, and then continued to grown with too off the court, so my knowledge of the game, there are definitely takeaways there. But absolutely the number one thing I’m going to take on is her influence as a mentor.”
Magarity gave Hogan her start in coaching, hiring her to her staff very quickly after the player completed her sixth season of eligibility after medical redshirts for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons allowed her to play longer than expected. Magarity came to the program in 2010 when Hogan was finally able to remain on the court for a full season, meaning the now-head coach learned under her wing for a decade before this point.
There are some similarities and differences to what it was like for Hogan to play and coach for Magarity, she said. The mentorship and relationship remained constant. What changed were the expectations.
“I was a point guard. I’ve always been a vocal leader, so I was that leader on the court, and we did have a great relationship,” Hogan said of when she was playing for Magarity. “But the responsibilities I think are a huge difference: responsibilities of her trusting me to do different things within the program, whether that be starting off as basically being the liaison for alumni relations or special events, to then growing into the recruiting coordinator, to then last year going to the associate head coach position.”
While Hogan’s experience with Magarity certainly didn’t dampen her interest in coaching, the profession is something that runs in her blood. When she was growing up, her father was an assistant for men’s basketball and head softball coach at Division III University of Rivier in Nashua, then transitioning to coach girl’s high school hoops in the same town. Her sister coached AAU before moving on to take the varsity girl’s head coaching position at Nashua South, the rival high school to where Kelsey Hogan attended, Nashua North.
That’s not to mention the coaching her grandfather and various aunts and uncles have done over the years, plus teaching, which Hogan considers to go hand-in-hand with coaching. It’s not farfetched for her to follow the same path.
“Coaching is in my family,” she explained. “My grandfather was a baseball coach for years, and I have a big family, so aunts and uncles, too, whether that be wrestling, swimming, basketball, baseball, softball, all around. Seeing their influence through the generations was huge to me and inspiring.”
She got her coaching career started in her mid-20s, and now before she even turns 30, she has earned a head coaching title. Coaching was always on her mind, but did she think it would come so soon?
“I don’t know if I can answer that,” she said. “I don’t know if anyone really envisions it with a timeline of age. I know I had a goal. I had a timeline with the goal, but it never had to do with my age.”
Regardless, reaching a head coaching position before 30 is unique and impressive, and perhaps even more unique and impressive is doing so at the same place you’ve been for more than a decade. Kelsey Hogan has been at UNH since arriving on campus as a true freshman in 2008, and she seems keen to stick around for longer than 2020.
“I had opportunities to move on. I wasn’t ready to leave the program,” Hogan explained. “I think I had unresolved business. I wasn’t ready to move on and take on those opportunities, so I stayed here, and I want to continue to grow within this opportunity and this program.
“I didn’t think it would happen this fast, but I do think that I’m ready. I think I’ve taken the steps in the right direction and path to be successful. I know this program and university in and out, but I also know there are things in the program I want to change and put my twist on to get this program back to where it needs to be and where it deserves to be.”