Westfield State women’s basketball head coach Andrea Bertini ‘96 begins her 14th season leading the Owls program.
Bertini has guided the Owls to three consecutive NCAA Tournament bids in 2016, 2017, and 2018 and made four total NCAA Tournament appearances since 2009.
Overall in 13 seasons at Westfield she has amassed a record of 215-139 (.607) and has a 17-year collegiate coaching record of 262-193.
Bertini has led her alma mater to seven MASCAC regular-season championships in the past ten seasons, won 20 or more games four times, and won the MASCAC Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament on four occasions.
In 2017-18, the Owls won 19 games, posted an 11-1 record in the conference, winning the league’s regular-season and tournament titles, and advanced to the NCAA tournament for a third straight year.
In 2016-17, Bertini guided the Owls to a 19-9 overall record and an 11-1 mark in the league in winning the 2017 MASCAC regular season and tournament titles.
Bertini adopted “The System” as a style of play entering the 2015-16 season. The Owls fast paced style of play has attracted notoriety and national recognition for the program. Bertini was interviewed by the D3Hoops.com national website regarding the innovative style of play, and has frequently lent input to other coaches around the nation who have interest in the system, which utilizes the full roster, with players playing in short shifts of 45 seconds to a minute at maximum intensity.
The system has led to both team and personal success for the Owls. Westfield State led the country in four categories: total steals, steals per game, turnovers forced per game and turnover margin, and ranked second in the nation in scoring at nearly 89 points per game in 2016-17. 2017 graduate Jill Valley led the country in steals in 2017 at 4.58 per game, and Valley and 2015 graduate Forbasaw Nkamebo received all-conference and all-region honors.
The system helped Valley break a 42-year old school record for scoring, as she netted 52 points in conference game victory, breaking open a five-point game with 6:38 to play by scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter alone, which led to her being selected the National Player of the Week by two different organizations. The Owls score at a breakneck pace, as reflected by the 126 points netted by the team in a win over conference rival Salem State in February of 2017.
Bertini has been chosen as the conference’s coach of the year four times, in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015.
Bertini was named the conference coach of the year in 2009, leading the Owls a school-best 22-5 record, their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1996, their first outright MASCAC crown in 16 years, and their first MASCAC postseason tournament title in 17 years.
She was selected the coach of the year again in 2011 when she guided Westfield to a 21-6 record and the MASCAC regular season championship. The Owls shared the conference regular season crown in 2013-14 despite losing their leading scorer and rebounder to a season-ending injury in early January. During the 2012-2013 season, Westfield posted a 19-11 record, played in the MASCAC Tournament championship game, and advanced the semifinals of the ECAC Tournament.
She earned that honor again in 2015 as the Owls posted a perfect 12-0 mark in conference play, set a program record with 16 straight wins, and ultimately finished the year with school record 24-6 mark and advanced to the finals of the ECAC New England Tournament. 2015 graduate Jen Ashton coached collegiately before signing to play women’s professional basketball in England in the fall of 2017.
A 1996 Westfield State graduate and a 2009 Westfield Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Bertini was a four-year standout for the Owls. The 3-point shooting specialist helped to lead Westfield State to two NCAA Tournaments and two ECAC postseason bids.
“More than anything, I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to go back and coach where I played,” said the Salem, Mass., native at the time of her hire. “Not many players get the chance to do that and I feel fortunate. I want to be able to recruit quality student-athletes. And with the (athletic) facilities and the academic programs at Westfield State I believe I can do that.”
Bertini is employed full-time at Westfield State and also serves as assistant athletic director for compliance and eligibility director and recruiting coordinator.
Before returning to Westfield, Bertini served as the head women’s basketball coach/assistant athletics director at Newbury College in Brookline, Mass., for four seasons.
Prior to her Newbury stint, Bertini had been an assistant coach at Colby College for two years. She received a communication degree from Westfield State and a master’s degree from Springfield College in counseling psychology, with a concentration in athletic counseling.
As a student-athlete at Westfield State, Bertini set an NCAA record by making 119 3-point baskets during her sensational sophomore season. Her 4.1 shots made per game from beyond the arc that season still remains the eighth highest average in NCAA history.
The sharpshooting guard/forward also holds the following Westfield 3-point shooting marks: career 3-pointers made (287) and attempted (769); season attempts (373); made (9) and attempted (23) in a game; and consecutive games (40) making a 3-point basket.
She finished her stellar four-year career with 1,310 points, sixth best on the Owls’ scoring charts. She also ranks ninth in both career assists (243) and steals (180).
An All-New England third-team honoree in 1996 and a three-time Mass. State Conference first team selection, Bertini helped to lead Westfield to the best four-year stretch in school history. The Owls posted a sparkling 88-27 record with four straight 20-win seasons, captured two MASCAC championships and participated in NCAA tournaments in 1995 and 1996. Westfield was the ECAC tournament runner-up in 1993 and an ECAC tournament semifinalist in 1994.