Thursday, November 21, 2002


MEDFORD – Carla Berube, a member of the University of Connecticut's first National Championship women's basketball team in 1995, has her first game as a head coach on Friday night when the Tufts University Jumbos take on Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in the first round of the MIT Classic in Cambridge, Mass. Game time is 8 pm.

Hired at Tufts in June, Berube was previously an assistant coach at Providence College for two seasons. She played professionally for the New England Blizzard of the American Basketball League prior to becoming a coach. During her four years at UConn, the team posted a 132-8 overall record and she scored 1,381 points, currently 17th all-time. Her 138 games played for the Huskies is second all-time behind Asjha Jones' 144 from 1999-2002.

Despite her Division I background, Berube was looking for a small college job and found Tufts to be the perfect fit. The university is located five miles north of Boston and its teams are members of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

"I love Boston, and NESCAC is one of the best leagues in the country," she said. "I wanted to coach student-athletes and players who have the love and passion for the game like I do."

Berube takes over a team that finished last in NESCAC a year ago and lost its top three scorers. The Jumbos will be led by senior point guard Hillary Dunn (Medfield, MA/Medfield), whose 5.4 assists per game was first in NESCAC last season. Junior Erin Buckley (East Sandwich, MA/Sandwich) led the league with 29 blocks a year ago. Scorers will need to emerge, as Dunn's 5.2 points per game last year is the top returning number.

"Our goal is to get better every day," Berube told the Tufts Daily. "There is our big goal of making the NESCAC Tournament (top eight of 11 teams), but getting better every day leaves us with a sense of accomplishment."

More than by winning championships at UConn, Berube said she learned from the team concept preached by Coaches Geno Auriemma and Chris Dailey. She intends to incorporate that into her own style.

"We were taught to be proud of ourselves," she said. "Each player had a role in our system. The person who played 40 minutes a game was no different than the person who played one minute. I learned a lot of the behind-the-scenes aspects of coaching at Providence, but my style comes from UConn."

Tufts will play either host MIT or Emerson College on Saturday in the tournament championship or consolation game. The first home game at venerable Cousens Gymnasium is Thursday, December 5 versus Regis College.

Berube is a native of Oxford, Mass.