The new women’s basketball coach at MCLA says he can’t wait to get started.
“I am so excited. It’s a pleasure to be able to work at an institution as good as MCLA,” David Bostick said. “I’m looking forward to working with the team and hoping to bring some immediate success upon my arrival.”
Bostick’s hiring was announced Friday by the college. He replaces Loren Stock, whose contract was not renewed after the 2019-20 season. Bostick will also join the school’s athletics communication team, led by assistant athletic director Jeff Puleri.
Bostick comes to North Adams after serving as the women’s basketball coach at Becker College for seven years. His job at Becker was eliminated when the school’s administration announced Becker would close at the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year.
“What played into the final decision was his experience at Becker, turning that program around in a fairly quick time frame. He’s got great recruiting ties in the region, which is going to be really helpful. We really need to work on bringing in some additional quality student-athletes that are going to be successful at MCLA,” athletic director Laura Mooney said. “He’s got this enthusiasm and energy that’s contagious. It’s really exciting to be around him.
“Our student-athletes felt the same when they got to meet him in the process.”
Mooney said there were some 50 candidates for the job. The school did seven video interviews and had two finalists visit the campus in North Adams. She said Bostick was offered the job last Friday and accepted earlier in the week.
Mooney did say the initial candidate pool included Division II and III head and assistant coaches, junior college coaches and high school coaches.
Considering the college basketball calendar and this search was later in the process, the MCLA athletic director said she was pleased with the search process.
“I was really impressed with the pool. I thought we had a number of really quality candidates to kind of pull from, which is always what you hope for,” Mooney said. “It was a pretty good search and we did it on a very quick time frame due to the lateness. We wanted to make sure we could hold on to those top-quality candidates.”
Becker went 0-7 in a truncated 2021 basketball season. It was a season where Bostick played with only eight players.
The new MCLA coach was a men’s basketball player at Becker and a 1,000-point scorer. He was an assistant coach for the Becker women before taking over at Fitchburg State for one year. He became the head coach at Becker in 2014.
Bostick had a 59-82 record in seven years at Becker. It’s a run that started by teams going 2-23 and 7-18 in his first two years. By year three, his team had improved 15-12, and began a run of three consecutive winning seasons. The highlight came in the 2017-18 campaign when Becker won the New England Collegiate Conference title, beating Newbury, and making the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament for the first time in more than a decade. Unfortunately for Becker, the Hawks ran into No. 1 overall seed Amherst in the tournament and it was a quick trip.
The next year, Becker went 20-8, but lost to New England College in the NECC championship game. While the Hawks were 12-15 in the 2019-20 season, they made it to the NECC semifinal round. That made it four consecutive seasons that Becker made it to the NECC semifinal round.
The new MCLA coach was named the Worcester Area Collegiate Basketball Association’s women’s coach of the year in 2017 and 2018. The WACBA is the umbrella organization of all the college basketball programs, no matter the division, in greater Worcester.
Bostick takes over a team in North Adams that was 24-74 in the previous four seasons.
“I think the biggest thing is allowing the students to get comfortable and buy into the system,” Bostick said in response to a question about building a program, “to understand that it’s not about what was in the past, but the product that we’re going to bring to MCLA every time we step onto the court. I think that once the students buy into the philosophy of building good habits and working together, I think that will automatically turn the program around. I also think when the student-athletes understand that you care for them more than just in the basketball aspect of it, that you care what their futures are going to be like. They buy into you as a coach and are more apt to work harder for you.”
The last time an MCLA women’s basketball team took the court, it went 2-21 and 0-12 in MASCAC play in 2019-20. That crew was really young, as there were three seniors, one sophomore and six first-years on the roster.
So, what will a David Bostick team look like on the court?
“We’re going to apply pressure defensively. We’re going to execute offensively. We’re going to make sure everybody is engaged and communicating,” he said. “You’re going to hear a loud gym.”
Bostick officially comes on board Aug. 2. The new coach said that it may be a little late in the process, but he is getting busy recruiting. He said he might try to bring a couple of his players from Becker to North Adams as well.
“I am going to hit the ground running,” he said. “I am going to look for any available players that are still looking for a home, that’s willing to come in and be an integral part of this new program.”