Steve Donahue

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Steve Donahue
Steve Donahue 2014.jpg
Donahue in 2014
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born (1962-05-21) May 21, 1962 (age 54)
Playing career
1980–1984 Ursinus
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1984–1987 Springfield HS (asst.)
1987–1988 Monsignor Bonner HS (asst.)
1988–1990 Philadelphia (asst.)
1990–2000 Penn (asst.)
2000–2010 Cornell
2010–2014 Boston College
2015–present Penn

Steve Donahue (born May 21, 1962) is an American college basketball coach, who is currently the head coach of the Penn Quakers men's basketball team. He is the former head coach of Boston College and Cornell.


Donahue is a native of Springfield Township, Pennsylvania and a former player at Ursinus College, where he was a member of the Sigma Rho Lambda fraternity. Prior to becoming the head coach at Cornell University, Donahue began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Springfield High School, Monsignor Bonner High School, Philadelphia University, and The University of Pennsylvania.


Donahue had been the head coach at Cornell from September 2000 until April 6, 2010. Cornell struggled early under Donahue, but he eventually turned the program around. A March 1, 2008 defeat of the Harvard Crimson gave Cornell the Ivy League championship for the first time since 1988 and just the second title in program history.[1] On March 6, 2009, with Princeton's loss to Columbia, Cornell clinched the Ivy League Championship for a second consecutive year. It was the first time in 50 years that any team other than Penn or Princeton had won consecutive Ivy League titles in basketball.

Exactly one year later on March 6, 2010, Donahue's Cornell team defeated the Brown Bears to clinch its third consecutive title and fourth in team history. This guaranteed an automatic bid for Cornell in the 2010 NCAA basketball tournament, in which Cornell was given a 12-seed in the East region. Cornell went on to win two games in the tournament, defeating 5-seed Temple and then 4-seed Wisconsin, both victories by double digit margins, to advance to the Sweet 16, the first Ivy League team to advance this far since 1979 (when Penn reached the final four). There they fell to the 1-seed Kentucky Wildcats, ending their historic run. This team featured several lauded seniors, including point guard Louis Dale, who finished as the third highest scorer and top assist man in Cornell history; center Jeff Foote, whose presence in the middle was essential to Cornell's success; and forward Ryan Wittman, who finished as the top scorer in Cornell men's basketball history (and the 5th highest scorer overall in Ivy League's men's basketball history) at 2,028 points.

Donahue received the Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award for his accomplishments during the 2009–10 season.

Boston College[edit]

On April 7, 2010, Boston College announced that Donahue had been hired as the head coach of its basketball program, replacing coach Al Skinner. Donahue led the Eagles to the second round of the NIT his first year. Donahue's second year was less successful, as the Eagles won only 9 games and lost to Harvard for the fourth year in a row. Donahue led the Eagles to a 16-17 season in his third year. Despite going 16-17, the Eagles lost to two top ten teams by one point.

On February 19, 2014, Donahue achieved what is considered his biggest win at BC by beating #1-ranked Syracuse on the road in the Carrier Dome, 62-59 in overtime.[2] The upset was one of the few bright spots of Donahue's fourth and final year, which saw the Eagles fly to an 8-24 record.

On March 18, 2014, Boston College terminated Donahue.[3] He compiled a 54–76 record in four seasons and failed to reach the NCAA tournament.


On March 16, 2015, Donahue was named the 20th head coach in Penn basketball history, replacing Jerome Allen. Donahue served as an assistant coach for the Quakers from 1990 to 2000. According to Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University and USA National Team head coach, “Steve Donahue is a terrific basketball coach, and is even more impressive off the court." and following his hire by the Penn Quakers stated, "This is truly an outstanding hire by the University of Pennsylvania.” [4]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Cornell (Ivy League) (2000–2010)
2000–01 Cornell 7–20 3–11 T–7th
2001–02 Cornell 5–22 2–12 7th
2002–03 Cornell 9–18 4–10 T–5th
2003–04 Cornell 11–16 6–8 T–5th
2004–05 Cornell 13–14 8–6 2nd
2005–06 Cornell 13–15 8–6 3rd
2006–07 Cornell 16–12 9–5 3rd
2007–08 Cornell 22–6 14–0 1st NCAA First Round
2008–09 Cornell 21–10 11–3 1st NCAA First Round
2009–10 Cornell 29–5 13–1 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
Cornell: 146–138 (.514) 78–62 (.557)
Boston College (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2010–2014)
2010–11 Boston College 21–13 9–7 T–4th NIT Second Round
2011–12 Boston College 9–22 4–12 T–9th
2012–13 Boston College 16–17 7–11 8th
2013–14 Boston College 8–24 4–14 13th
Boston College: 54–76 (.415) 24–44 (.353)
Penn (Ivy League) (2015–present)
2015–16 Penn 11–17 5–9 5th
2016–17 Penn 13–14 6–8 4th
Penn: 24–31 (.436) 11–17 (.393)
Total: 224-245 (.478)

      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


External links[edit]