The NYU Women’s basketball team defeated Brandeis University 54-53, resulting in coach Lauren Hall-Gregory’s 100th win as head coach of the NYU Women’s basketball team on Saturday, Feb. 24. She is only the third coach in NYU history to reach this milestone.
Coach Hall-Gregory has been immersed in basketball her whole life. She played collegiate basketball at Hofstra University, where she was captain for three years and the Pride’s MVP her sophomore year. She ended her career fourth in school history with 454 assists.
Hall-Gregory came to NYU after spending her previous four seasons as the recruiting coordinator and first assistant coach at the Division I program at Sacred Heart University. This season, coach Hall-Gregory guided the Violets to their fifth consecutive winning season in her sixth season as head coach. In 2014-15, she was named WBCA Region 2 Coach of the Year.
Captain, 2017-18 UAA Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Kaitlyn Read has played under coach Hall-Gregory for five consecutive seasons.
“Coach Hall[-Gregory] will tell you she’s been so successful because she’s been able to recruit great people, but in reality, she’s the one who fosters such a cohesive sense of team unity within her teams,” Read said. “I’ve been a part of five very different rosters, but each and every year I feel as though I’m part of a family, an evolving family, but a family nonetheless.”
Assistant Coach Mary Kate Tierney also admires how Coach Hall-Gregory fosters a sense of unity and inspires her players.
“The thing I admire most, since working for Coach Hall[-Gregory] at NYU, is her genuine ability to care for each individual associated with the NYU Women’s basketball program,” Tierney said. “She understands her job isn’t just to win basketball games, but it is to continuously motivate young women and develop them to become strong, confident members of society.”
Coaching was not a part of Hall-Gregory’s original career plan. After graduating from Hofstra, Hall-Gregory worked in sales for two years before returning to the court, this time as a coach.
“The two years I took away from basketball were really purposeful and wonderful, but they also made me recognize how much I missed being a part of it,” Hall-Gregory said. “The people in my life who had the biggest impressions on me were my coaches, besides my parents. I wanted to be a positive force in a woman’s life and have that opportunity plus be involved in a sport that gave so much to me. So, [coaching] felt like an opportunity to give back to that.”
Read also said that Coach Hall-Gregory knows how to bring out the best in her players every time they step onto the court.
“She is always pushing us to get better,” Read said. “Plus, I love how excited of a coach she gets, how intense she is because it just shows how much she cares about us getting a win.”
Many of the team members say they are inspired by Coach Hall-Gregory’s wisdom and her unwavering support both on and off the court.
“Coach Hall taught me to never stop working hard or trying to get better. At the end of the day, you know she loves what she’s doing every day,” Gallatin senior and Captain Mikaela Pyatt said.
While watching her players grow on and off the court is one of her greatest rewards, inevitably, there are times when Coach Hall-Gregory has to see her players struggle.
“Although it’s one of my favorite parts to see how they rise to the occasion and what they learn from it, it’s also one of the hardest things, as a mom and person who cares for them,” Hall-Gregory said. “Sometimes I can help them, sometimes I can’t.”
A version of this article appeared in the March 5 print edition.
Email Bela Kirpalani at [email protected]