Cardinal O’Hara didn’t have to look very far to find its next girls basketball coach.
Chrissie Doogan, a Lions assistant coach and a two-time Daily Times Player of the Year in her O’Hara playing days, was named successor to Linus McGinity, who retired last month after winning more than 500 games and 11 Catholic League titles in 24 seasons at O’Hara.
“I am extremely grateful to Linus for bringing me back to O’Hara. I just finished my fifth year with him and the experience of coaching with him has been awesome,” Doogan told the Daily Times. “I had an unbelievable experience in my four years as a player at O’Hara, too, and to see that not a lot has changed in 25 years is really great. The kids are the same, the names and the faces are different, but the love and the passion for basketball hasn’t changed at all.”
Before returning to her alma mater, Doogan (nee Donahue) coached at La Salle and Cornell. During her playing days at O’Hara, she helped lead the Lions to three Catholic League championships (1991-93) and was an All-Delco and All-Catholic League player for three consecutive seasons. She was named the Catholic League MVP and Daily Times Player of the Year in 1992 and ’93. She ranks among the top-20 in career scoring in Delco with 1,446 points, the second-highest total in O’Hara girls basketball history.
As a player for La Salle, Doogan ended her career as the program’s second-leading scorer with 1,818 points and third-leading rebounder with 914. She led the team in scoring and rebounding in her final three seasons, and in 2003, was named to the La Salle Hall of Athletes. She was named Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Year in 1995 and Rookie of the Year in 1994. In 2002, she was inducted into the Big 5 Hall of Fame and was named one of the top 25 players in Big 5 history.
In 2004, Doogan was inducted into the Cardinal O’Hara Hall of Fame.
“She has gained incredible experience over her collegiate and high school coaching and playing careers in the Philadelphia Catholic League and at La Salle University,” O’Hara athletic director BJ Hogan said in a statement. “We look forward to Chrissie leading our program and striving to be the best year after year.”
Doogan is ready to put her stamp on a program that will look much different next season following the graduations of senior guards Molly Paolino, three-time All-Delco Kenzie Gardler and 2018 Daily Times Player of the Year Maura Hendrixson. The Lions captured two consecutive Catholic League titles and advanced to a PIAA final in 2016 and the state semifinals in 2017. Seniors Kerry Patterson and Erin Welde, and junior Steph Huseby are among Doogan’s few returning players from the 2017-18 campaign.
“We lost nine kids in the last two years. There’s no replacing Kenzie, Maura and Molly, and if you go back to last year, Hannah (Nihill) and Molly (Sheehan). There’s just no replacing those five,” Doogan said. “But I think we’re going to surprise some people. I think we’re going to have size, which we never had before. We’re going to be a little bigger than we’ve been in the past, so that might be a little bit of a different style for some of us. There are no true, proven 3-point shooters out there. We have Kerry Patterson coming back, who is a little bit more of a slasher and who can make an open shot.
“I’m hoping we surprise people and I think anyone who sleeps on us might be a little bit surprised.”
When asked what she learned most from coaching under McGinty, Doogan said, “to go in the gym and work hard every day and to treat the girls the way you’d want to be treated. … He just cares about each player so much, that’s one thing I hope I can do and treat each player the way they want to be treated so that they can look back and remember their high school years with awesome memories.”