Kim McNeill agreed to contract terms to become head women’s basketball coach at East Carolina University on March 28, 2019.
The Bassett, Va., native led Hartford to consecutive America East Conference Championship game appearances and three-straight winning seasons. She owns a 59-38 (.608) record in three seasons directing the Hawks, producing a winning record in all three campaigns.
Coming off a successful three-year tenure at Hartford, McNeill led the Hawks back to the postseason for the first time since 2013. The Hawks made history when they became the first-ever No. 6 seed to reach the America East title contest in 2018 before returning as finalists in 2019. McNeill’s last game on the Hartford bench was a first-round setback to Providence in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
Defense has been a hallmark for McNeill’s teams as the 2018-19 Hawks finished the year second in the NCAA in steals per game (13.0), turnovers forced (24.5) and turnover margin (9.35). It was the third-straight season that UHART had ranked in the top-10 in both steals and turnover margin.
Offensively, McNeill helped rewrite the school record books. In each of her final two seasons, the Hawks dished out more than 400 assists - including a school-record 441 in 2017-18. Its 66.8 scoring average topped all America East squads in 2016-17 and set a new program standard. In addition, Hartford led the America East in three-point shooting percentage (.345) and had the fewest turnovers in program history during McNeill’s debut campaign.
McNeill mentored 12 America East All-Conference selections, including 2018 America East Scholar-Athlete Lindsey Abed and 2017 Rookie-of-the-Year Sierra DaCosta.
Prior to accepting the Hawks’ top women’s basketball position, McNeill spent 16 seasons as an assistant coach at the Division I level. She distinguished herself as an effective and successful recruiter and coach while working in some of the NCAA’s top conferences, including the ACC, SEC, Pac-12 and Atlantic-10.
McNeill came to Hartford after spending five seasons on Joanne Boyle’s staff at the University of Virginia, starting as an assistant coach before being elevated to associate head coach in 2013. She helped pilot the program to three WNIT appearances, including back-to-back berth in 2014-15 and 2015-16. The Cavaliers posted a 90-71 record during her five-year stint, which included the program’s first 25-win season since 1999-00 (in 2011-12).
Virginia was the third stop in which McNeill had worked alongside Boyle, having previously served as an assistant on her staff at the University of Richmond (2004-05) and at the University of California (2005-07). Prior to rejoining Boyle’s staff at Virginia, she spent four seasons under Andy Landers at the University of Georgia from 2007 to 2011.
McNeill started her career at James Madison where she worked for three overall seasons (2000-01 and 2002-04). Between the two stints at JMU, she served as an assistant at Howard University for one year.
McNeill was a three-year letterwinner and co-captain at Richmond, where she received her bachelor’s degree in sport science in 2000.
On the court, she was named to the Colonial Athletic Association All-Defensive Team as a senior. Prior to transferring to Richmond, she earned 1996 Big South Conference Rookie-of-the-Year honors at Radford.
McNeill and her husband, Cory McNeill, are the parents of twins, Cayden and Gabrielle.
Associate Head Coach
Cory McNeill enters his first year as Associate Head Coach of the ECU women’s basketball team after being hired on April 12, 2019. McNeill, who is the husband of first-year head coach Kim McNeill, served in the same role at the University of Hartford.
During his three years in Hartford, McNeill helped the Hawks improve their win total in each successive season, culminating in a 23-11 mark in 2018-19 and the program’s first appearance in the WNIT since 2013. The 23 wins were the highest total for a Hartford squad since the 2009-10 season.
Working primarily in developing the Hawks’ guards, Hartford’s backcourt was one of the most productive in the America East under his guidance. That work was evident as four guards received All-Conference distinction from the league, including Sierra DaCosta, who became the program’s first Rookie of the Year winner since 2005-06.
McNeill also tutored Lindsey Abed who became the first America East First-Team All-Conference selection since 2009-10, Alexia Douglas who earned the league’s 2018-19 Sixth-Man-of-the-Year Award and Jade Young who was chosen as Second-Team All-Conference.
McNeill’s role with coaching the guards was once again noticeable in 2018-19, as Hartford set new program records on both the offensive and defensive ends. For the third consecutive season, the Hawks finished in the top-10 in the country in steals and turnovers forced. Hartford set a new program record with 441 steals, placing the Hawks second in the NCAA last season.
Under McNeill’s tutelage, the Hawks produced one of the best offenses in Hartford history. Hartford nailed 218 threes, a new program standard and Abed was one of the top scorers in the America East, averaging 14.6 points. The Hawks averaged 63.7 points as a team, ranking them in the top-three of the conference.
McNeill continued to help develop the guards in 2017-18, as Hartford broke the program record for steals for the second consecutive season with 399. The Hawks also finished the season ranked among the NCAA's top-10 in several defensive categories, including steals (5th), steals per game (6th) turnover margin (7th) and turnovers forced (8th).
In 2016-17, under McNeill’s guidance, the Hawks were a dangerous threat from three-point land. Finishing as the top three-point shooting squad in the America East, Hartford made the third-most three-pointers in program history (199) and posted the school’s second-highest shooting percentage from behind the arc last year.
In addition to contributing to an offense that led the America East and broke the program’s scoring record, McNeill’s guards were also a major factor in the Hawks’ success defensively. Hartford shattered the program record in steals and ranked No. 5 in the nation in steals per game.
McNeill came to Hartford after spending five seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Virginia. At Virginia, McNeill and his wife served on Joanne Boyle’s staff, where they helped the Cavaliers to a 90-71 record and three WNIT appearances, including back-to-back berths in 2015 and 2016.
Prior to joining the staff at Virginia, McNeill served as an assistant coach at Georgetown from 2007-11. During that time, the Baltimore, Md., native helped the Hoyas to one of the nation’s most impressive turnarounds, earning back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths for the first time in program history in 2010 and 2011.
In addition, with McNeill’s prowess as a defensive coach, Georgetown became one of the nation’s leaders in forced turnovers and defensive field goal percentage.
McNeill’s coaching career began at Coppin State. In five seasons, he led the Eagles to two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championships, three regular-season MEAC Championships, two NCAA Tournament berths and a WNIT appearance.
McNeill played college basketball at Morgan State, where he received his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2002, and went on to earn his master’s degree in public administration in 2005 from the University of Baltimore.
McNeill and his wife, head coach Kim McNeill, are the parents of twins, Cayden and Gabrielle.
Steve Pogue joined the ECU women’s basketball team as an assistant coach for the 2019-20 season. Pogue had previously been on head coach Kim McNeill’s staff at the University of Hartford.
Pogue joined McNeill’s staff at the University of Hartford prior to the 2017-18 season. During both of his years there, Pogue helped the Hawks improve their win total in each season, culminating in a 23-11 mark in 2018-19 and the program’s first appearance in the WNIT since 2013. The 23 wins were the highest total for a Hartford squad since the 2009-10 season.
Prior to arriving in Hartford, Pogue was on staff at Bridgeport. In his three seasons there, Pogue helped the Purple Knights increase their win total each year he was on staff. During the 2016-17 season, Bridgeport won 15 games, the most since the 2012-13 campaign. In addition to his coaching duties, he served as a Game Day Operations Assistant for the Purple Knights.
Before landing at Bridgeport, Pogue worked as an assistant women’s basketball coach for four seasons at Nyack College, his alma mater. As a standout, four-year member of the Nyack’s men’s basketball team, he helped the Warriors reach the 2010 NCAA National Championship game.
A member of the WBCA who attended the Center of Coaching Excellence in 2016, Pogue graduated in 2010 from Nyack with a degree in business administration with a concentration in sports management.
Ali Heller joined the ECU women’s basketball team’s coaching staff in April 2019. A former standout for the women’s basketball team at Rider, Heller comes to Greenville after a two-year stint as an assistant coach for head coach Kim McNeill at the University of Hartford.
Heller joined McNeill’s staff at the University of Hartford prior to the 2017-18 season. During both of her years there, Heller helped the Hawks improve their win total in each season, culminating in a 23-11 mark in 2018-19 and the program’s first appearance in the WNIT since 2013. The 23 wins were the highest total for a Hartford squad since the 2009-10 season.
Prior to arriving in Hartford, Heller was brought on to the Sacred Heart coaching staff at the start of the 2015-16 season, Heller shared recruiting and scouting responsibilities while serving as the team’s travel, video and service coordinator. During her time with the Pioneers, she helped lead the team to back-to-back WNIT Tournament appearances in 2016 and 2017.
Heller joined Sacred Heart’s staff after two seasons on the women’s basketball staff at Jacksonville State, where she assisted with the team’s backcourt. Under her leadership, the Gamecocks were among the best in the country at handling the ball in 2014-15, ranking No. 4 in Division I, committing just 11.2 turnovers per game.
Heller got her start in collegiate coaching at Lynn University, where she assisted with daily practices, recruiting, film exchange and community service.
A four-year letter winner at Rider, Heller appeared in more than 90 games for the Broncs. In addition to eclipsing the 450-point mark on her career, she finished her career ranked among the program’s top-15 in three-point field goals with 106.
As a junior, Heller was named the 2011 MAAC Sixth Player of the Year after finishing No. 10 in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.433) while averaging 8.8 points per game that season. She graduated from Rider in 2012 with a degree in business administration.
Director of Operations
Sarah Zolcak joined the ECU women’s basketball staff in May 2019 as the Director of Operations.
In her role, Zolcak handles the day-to-day operations of the program in addition to organizing team travel and coordinating community service for the team.
Zolcak comes to Greenville from the University of Hartford where she served on head coach Kim McNeill’s staff as a Graduate Assistant. During her time as the team’s graduate assistant, Zolcak helped plan the team’s travel, coordinate community service, implement a life skill program for the team and help manage the student managers.
Prior to being elevated to Graduate Assistant, Zolcak was a manager for the team during her undergraduate studies, culminating in serving as the team’s head manager.
Zolcak graduated from the University of Hartford in 2018 with bachelor’s degree in Health Science and earned her Masters Degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics from the University of Hartford in 2019.
Coordinator of Video Operations
Andrew Yates joined the ECU women’s basketball staff in May 2019 as the Coordinator of Video Operations. Yates’ duties include creating content for the team’s social media platforms
Yates arrives at ECU after two seasons at the University of Virginia in the role of Women’s Basketball Video Coordinator.
Prior to his time in Charlottesville, Yates was an In-Game Production Crew Member for the Carolina Mudcats Baseball Team.
Yates spent the 2016-17 season with the UNCW Men’s Basketball team where he worked as the Seahawks’ Videographer Intern.
Yates graduated from UNCW in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Film Studies.
Student Assistant Coach