PROVIDENCE — After six seasons of serving as the women’s basketball coach at Brown University, former Foxboro High School and Boston College standout Sarah Behn has resigned.
“We appreciate all that Sarah has done for the women’s basketball program at Brown and wish her well in her future endeavors,” Brown University Athletic Director Jack Hayes said in a prepared statement Monday.
Behn’s departure came after the Brown Daily Herald reported a number of irregularities within the program in the treatment of student-athletes, leading to a number of players quitting the team.
Several had accused Behn of making rude comments about their weight during the last season. The Brown University band ended up boycotting the last two home games of the season over the incident.
Behn denied the allegations saying that she was simply being tough with her players about their training.
"My assistant coaches and I have always used the word 'fitness' to describe goals and motivate all out athletes to train to achieve their best level of fitness so they can compete better," she told the Daily Herald at the time of the incident.
Those allegations came almost two years after an off-court incident in which Behn was arrested for domestic assault of her husband, Timothy McGahn.
The case was dismissed in January on the day of a scheduled trial in Wrentham District Court after McGahan, 66, invoked his spousal privilege and chose not to testify, according to court records.
Behn, 48, was arrested July 28, 2018, for allegedly pushing her husband over a chair and pinning him against a wall at their Cutler Lane home in Foxboro. The couple is in the process of getting a divorce.
Behn told police at the time of the arrest that McGahan was yelling at her mother and she stepped in and pushed him away from her, according to a police report.
Behn took over the Bears’ program for the 2014-15 season and compiled a 74-96 record during her tenure, including a 20-64 mark in Ivy League competition.
Behn, who became the Bears’ ninth head coach in May 2014, remains one of the most heralded high school players in Massachusetts at Foxboro High and later became a four-time All Big East Conference player at Boston College.
“I would like to thank Brown University for allowing me to serve as head women’s basketball coach for the last six years,” Behn said in a prepared statement. “I have truly appreciated the opportunity to work so many impressive young women.”
While at Foxboro High School, Behn totaled what was then a Massachusetts state record of 2,562 points — which still ranks among the top 10.
During her career at Boston College (’89-93), Behn became the Eagles’ all-time scoring leader with 2,523 points. She was also the Big East Rookie of the Year during the 1989-90 season, the Eagles’ only four-time all conference player and was inducted into Boston College’s Hall of Fame in 1998.
Behn became the first female Boston College athlete to have her No. 33, which she also wore at Foxboro High, retired into the rafters at Conte Forum in 2003.
Behn’s father, the late Barry Behn, was a two-time letter-winner at Brown, playing for the Bears during the 1960-62 seasons.
During her 14 seasons of coaching at the collegiate level, Behn compiled a 163-219 record.
Behn actually returned to Foxboro High to serve as the Warriors’ girls basketball coach from 2004-11, guiding the team to six MIAA Tournament appearances in seven seasons.
In addition, she began the Sarah Behn Basketball Camp in 1994 and ran it each summer for two decades.
Behn came to Brown after spending four seasons (2011-14) with the UMass-Lowell women’s basketball program. Behn orchestrated the Riverhawks’ transition from an NCAA Division II program to Division I play for the 2013-14 season. The Riverhawks compiled their best record in a decade during the 2012-’13 season, going 18-9 with a 15-7 slate in the Northeast 10
Behn began her collegiate coaching career at Framingham State (1997-2000) and then moved on to Franklin Pierce College (2000-02). At Framingham State, Behn revitalized a struggling Rams’ basketball program into a MASCAC contender, while also coaching the women’s soccer team to the 1999 MASCAC title and its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Behn was credited with the development of two of Brown’s top three all-time leading scorers — former Natick High standout Justine Gaziano (Class of 2020, 1,818 points) and Shayna Mehta (Class of 2019, 1,785 points).
Behn guided the Bears to their lone appearance in the Ivy League Tournament, the inaugural season of 2017. During that season, Brown also gained a berth in the Women’s Basketball Invitational and gained the program’s first-ever postseason win.
During that season, the Behn-led Bears set a single-season program record for games played (30), points (2,169), field goals made (779), 3-point field goals made (226) and free throw percentage (.739).
Behn led the Bears to a sweep of the Ocean State series for the first time during the 2015-16 season, while Brown accounted for a 12-2 non-Ivy League record, the most wins in a single season since 1975.
Brown coached one Ivy League Rookie of the Year (Mehta, ’16) and four All-Ivy League players, including Jordin Alexander (2016), who became the 19th 1,000-point scorer in program history.
During the 2018-19 season, the Behn-led Bears featured three active 1,000-point scorers for the first time in program history in Mehta (2019), Gaziano (2020), and Erika Steeves (2019). Brown’s class of 2019 — Mehta, Steeves, Taylor Will and Mary Butler — become the highest scoring class in program history with 4,306 points. Mehta finished her career second at Brown in career scoring (1,785 points) and as the Bears’ all-time leader in 3-pointers made (261).
In her first season of coaching at Brown, the Bears finished second in the Ivy League in scoring (65.5 points per game) and first in the conference in steals (10.1 per game). She coached a pair of All-Ivy players in Sophie Bikofsky ’15 and Alexander with Bikofsky concluding her career as Brown’s all-time leader in 3-point field goals made (222).
In addition to her high school and collegiate career, Behn played one season professionally, in Ettlebruck, Luxembourg, posting 35 points per game to lead the Central European League.