PARAMUS, N.J. – Trailblazing former Bergen Community College coach Rose Marie Battaglia, Ph.D., has earned entry into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. She, and six fellow inductees including Olympic gold medalists Chamique Holdsclaw, Katie Smith and Tina Thompson, will attend the hall's 20th anniversary ceremony June 9 in Knoxville, Tennessee. The hall of fame class of 2018 also features coaches Ceal Barry, Chris Dailey and Mickie DeMoss.
"This is a proud moment for Dr. Rose Marie Battaglia and for Bergen Community College," Bergen President Michael D. Redmond, Ph.D., said. "With the backdrop of the College's 50th anniversary this year, it seems fitting that Dr. Battaglia receives this recognition in 2018, placing her accomplishments among the nation's greatest female athletes as we reflect on 50 years of success stories at the institution."
The College will honor the former coach as part of its 50th anniversary and women's history month celebration Thursday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. in its main campus gym during an alumni basketball game. The event is free and open to the public.
The 89-year-old Battaglia, of Wall Township, led Bergen to four NJCAA final four appearances, four Region XIX titles and a 256-55 win-loss record during her time at the College. A three-time Garden State Athletic Conference and New Jersey Community College coach of the year, Battaglia also earned two Region XIX coach of the year awards. She also taught health and physical education at Bergen and earned the rank of professor emeritus in 1992.
Concurrent with her 12 years as Bergen's head coach, Battaglia also served as Paramus Catholic's women's basketball coach. At the high school across the street from the College's main campus, Battaglia and star center and future Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Anne Donovan won back-to-back state championships in the 1970s. For her efforts, she became an inaugural member of the New Jersey State Interscholastic High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame class.
During Battaglia's 38-year coaching career, which also included stops at Iona College, St. Michael's in Union City and Benedict Academy in Elizabeth, she compiled a lifetime .745 winning percentage featuring 702 college wins and 274 high school victories before retiring in 1989.
A member of NJCAA Women's Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and Bergen's institutional hall of fame, she also earned the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award and has the NJCAA DIII Women's Basketball Championship Sportsmanship Award named for her.
Battaglia earned her B.S. from Panzer College, an M.A. from Montclair State College and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah.
Bergen's athletics program features four NJCAA hall of famers, including Battaglia – Doug Yennie (golf), Ed Kochakji (wrestling) and Don Bozzone (track and field).
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017-18, enrolls 15,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.