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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Cindy Griffin wins 400th career game

Cindy Griffin coaching the women’s basketbal team against Yale University on Nov. 11 PHOTO COURTESY SJU ATHLETICS

On Nov. 11, the St. Joe’s women’s basketball team defeated Yale University for its second victory of the young season.

It also marked career win No. 400 for Head Coach Cindy Griffin.

Griffin, in her 25th season and 22nd at St. Joe’s, spent three years as the coach at Loyola University in Maryland before returning to the school where she had played college basketball and graduated in 1991.

While playing at St. Joe’s, Griffin recorded 662 points, 278 rebounds, 510 assists and 197 steals. She ranks fourth at St. Joe’s in all-time assists. A product of Bishop McDevitt High School, she was inducted into the St. Joe’s Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Since Griffin returned to Hawk Hill for the 2001-02 season, the Hawks have won an Atlantic 10 championship in 2013 and played in the WNIT 11 times and the NCAA Tournament twice.

Griffin says her love of basketball has fueled her long and successful coaching career.

“I think you can teach a lot about life through the game of basketball,” Griffin  said. “If I can impact the players that I’ve coached the way that I’ve been impacted by my coaches, that’s really what keeps me coming back.”

Griffin said she doesn’t think about these types of achievements until they happen but feels fortunate for her successes when they do.

“I’ve had some really great players and great coaches that I’ve worked with,” Griffin said. “I feel blessed to be doing something that I love to do and at the place that I love to do it.”

Griffin’s Hawks program has produced numerous quality players who have earned Big 5 and A-10 accolades throughout her tenure, as well as a WNBA player in Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud ’15.

One of the leaders on her current roster, sixth-year guard Katie Jekot, attributed her own growth as a leader to Griffin. Jekot said Griffin got her to come out of her shell as a freshman by forcing her to talk more on the court.

“From the beginning, she’s  helped me grow into a leader,” Jekot said. “She taught me the way.”

Jekot noted that an emphasis on team culture is one of the biggest factors in the program’s continuity and success under Griffin.

“We make it a huge point to know what our team goals are,” Jekot said. “Getting everyone on the same page, and implementing that into everyone’s game is really important.”

With Sunday’s 69-49 victory over Drexel University, the Hawks have won six times since the milestone victory against Yale and are off to an 8-0 start. 

Jekot said Griffin has this year’s squad playing solid offensive basketball.

“We’ve been playing really well together,” Jekot said. “[We have been] putting each other in successful positions.”

Griffin said her team is doing a good job exploiting favorable matchups against its opponents in addition to good shooting and ball movement.

“Our consistency helps with what we’re trying to do every day,” Griffin  said. “Obviously, having great players helps.”

This article was first published by the Philadelphia Inquirer on Dec. 2, 2022 as part of the Inquirer’s college correspondent program.

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