Three New Head Coaches Join Athletics Staff


The Athletics Department has hired three new head coaches entering the 2019-20 academic year: Keila Whittington (women’s basketball), Ellie Davis (women’s soccer) and Phil Hurley (swimming). 

The women’s basketball team finished 16-17 last season and advanced to the NEC championship game under Director of Athletics Susan Robinson Fruchtl, who coached the team on an interim basis in 2018-19. 

“I am looking forward to meeting the team and working with them to continue to build upon the winning tradition that has been established,” said Whittington, who previously served as an assistant coach at Memphis, Oregon, Penn State, Indiana, Rhode Island and Delaware.

The women’s soccer team has advanced to three straight NEC championship games, winning two of them to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Davis comes to Saint Francis with more than 20 years of coaching experience. She has served as an assistant coach at Sam Houston State, James Madison, St. Bonaventure and Indiana. 

Despite a slow start this season, Davis is optimistic entering NEC action this weekend.

“We want to win the conference and we want to go to the NCAAs,” said Davis. “It takes a lot to be able to do that, but I think that we are fully capable. 

“It’s about trying to figure out how to get to the next level.” 

The swim team is coming off a 10-8 season and third-place finish at last season’s NEC Championship. Hurley arrives in Loretto with more than 15 years of coaching experience. Most recently, he served as head coach at Lock Haven University. Before his time at LHU, he served as an assistant at South Dakota State. Hurley has also coached at George Mason University. 

Last year at Lock Haven, seven of his swimmers set personal-bests at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship. 

“Each swimmer has their own individual goals and I hope that we get them all,” said Hurley. “As a team, our goal is to win the NEC Championship and send swimmers to the NCAA Championship.”