Tom Lochner, who previously spent 23 seasons at La Salle University (including six years as head coach), joined the Blue Hen women’s basketball staff in July 2011 as an assistant coach. Lochner is in his sixth season at Delaware during the 2016-17 season.
Lochner’s responsibilities include the recruitment of high-quality student-athletes, individual player development, opponent scouting, practice planning and offensive and defensive strategy.
Lochner was instrumental in leading the 2013-14 squad into unknown territory as the Blue Hens bounced back from graduating seven seniors, including 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne, and a career total of over 6,500 points, 3,200 rebounds and 1,100 assists in remarkable fashion.
Delaware fielded nine freshmen and sophomores in 2013-14 and fellow CAA schools predicted the Hens would finish fifth in the league. This all served as motivation for UD as the Blue Hens returned to the CAA Championship game for the fourth straight season and earned a berth into the WNIT following a year where Delaware went 20-11 overall and 10-6 in the conference. The Blue Hens traveled north for a WNIT First Round contest wherein the eventual tournament champion, Rutgers, edged UD, 65-61.
The Hens had not lost a CAA contest during Lochner’s tenure until January 2014 and had won a school-record 44 straight CAA regular season games dating to the 2010-11 season, a mark that is good for second nationally behind Baylor and the most in the league since Old Dominion won 95 consecutive contests from 1995 to 2001.
During that noted 2012-13 season, Lochner helped guide one of the most illustrious squads in Delaware history as the Hens finished the season with an incredible 32-4 mark, went undefeated in CAA play for the second consecutive year, earned their second straight CAA Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time in school history.
Delaware also recorded a school-record 27 straight victories, besting the team’s streak of 21 consecutive wins during the 2011-12 slate, and good for third nationally behind Baylor and Notre Dame.
The Blue Hens earned a No. 6 seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, where Delaware defeated No. 11 West Virginia, 66-53, before upsetting No. 3 North Carolina, 78-69, at a sold-out Bob Carpenter Center to advance to the Sweet 16. UD was unable to make a comeback against No. 2 Kentucky as the Hens ended their run with a 69-62 loss to the Wildcats. The Hens finished atop the CBI Mid-Major Poll for the second straight season while receiving a No. 15 spot in the Associated Press Poll and a No. 16 spot in the USA Today/Coaches Poll.
In Lochner’s first season at Delaware, the 2011-12 Blue Hens collected a record-breaking year with a 31-2 record while going undefeated in CAA play, picking up the first CAA Tournament title and winning the first postseason game in school history. Delaware set a previous school record for wins in a season including a record 21 straight victories and claimed the first CAA Tournament title in UD history.
The Hens earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and posted a 73-42 win over Arkansas Little Rock, the first postseason win by a men’s or women’s basketball team in school history. Delaware ended the year ranked No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll after climbing as high as No. 7 in early March.
Prior to arriving in Delaware, Lochner served on the basketball staff at La Salle for 23 seasons, including the final six as head coach as he put together a record of 72-101 with the Explorers. Lochner enjoyed his finest season as head coach at La Salle in 2006-07 when he led the squad to 19 wins, the most by the school in over a decade, and earned Big Five Coach of the Year honors. The Explorers started the season 7-0 to tie the school record, won nine road contests for the first time since 1991-92 and matched the school’s best-ever home record of 10-3 at Tom Gola Arena.
Lochner was first hired as a volunteer assistant at La Salle for the 1987-88 season under John Miller before being promoted to assistant coach in 1989 and then associate head coach in 1998. He was named the head coach for the Explorers in August 2004, as Miller resigned from the position. During his 17 years as an assistant coach at La Salle, Lochner had been a part of 296 victories (296-196 overall). He helped guide the Explorers to two NCAA Tournament appearances, one WNIT appearance, three conference titles, four Big Five titles and five 20-win seasons.
Lochner started his coaching career in his hometown of Schenectady, N.Y. at his alma mater, Notre Dame Bishop Gibbons School, where he coached the girls basketball team from 1980-87. During his first three seasons, he led the junior varsity squad before taking the reins as the varsity head coach for the final four years.
As the varsity head coach at NDBG, the Golden Knights posted an 88-13 record and captured the 1986 New York State Championship (Large Division) with a mark of 26-2. Lochner’s team also won three sectional titles while he was honored as the New York State Section II Coach of the Year twice (1985 and 1986).
Lochner holds two degrees from Temple University as he earned a bachelor’s in physical education in 1989 and a master’s in sports management in 1997. He also earned a master’s degree in education from La Salle in 2006.
Lochner resides in Willow Grove, Pa. with his wife Beth. Their son, Curtis Lochner, is a member of the Delaware men’s basketball team while daughter, Samantha, plays basketball for Saint Peter’s University.