Salem State selects new coach

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Salem State has named Al Berger, who served on the staffs at Wheelock and Wellesley, as its new head women's basketball coach.

Director of Athletics and Recreation Peggy Carl announced the hire.

"His passion for women's basketball, love of the game, and experience in Division III will all be assets to our program," Carl said in the University's release. "He is a relentless recruiter who will no doubt bring a renewed focus to that element of the program as well."

Berger spent last season as the associate head coach to Missy Traversi at Wheelock. Before that he spent four-plus seasons at Wellesley where he was an assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Blue. He was also an assistant at Lasell and the head junior varsity coach at Hopkinton (Mass.) High School. Berger earned his Bachelor's degree from fellow MASCAC school Framingham State in 2005 and his Master's degree from Canisius in 2012. 

He replaces Michelle Cunningham who stepped down from the part-time position after six seasons. Cunningham cited personal reasons in her announcement to leave the position. 

"Balancing coaching responsibilities as well as responsibilities in the Gassett Fitness Center, and a young family, I was trying to be my best at everything and I was spreading myself too thin," said Cunningham in the release. "Salem State will always be a part of me, but it is time to put myself and family first."

Salem State went 11-15, 3-9 in the MASCAC last season.