Bowdoin men’s basketball coach Alex Lloyd, middle, talks to his team during a timeout in a game against the University of Southern Maine on Nov. 16 in Brunswick. Bowdoin Athletics/Brian Beard

BRUNSWICK — Both Bowdoin College basketball teams are off to strong starts under first-year coaches who are quickly settling into new roles.

“I’m learning a lot on the fly,” said Bowdoin men’s basketball coach Alex Lloyd, whose team is 2-0. “I have some great resources on my staff, and assistant coach (Felix) Abongo has really helped me with the transition.”

The Bowdoin women are 3-0 under new head coach Sacha Santimano, who replaced Adrienne Shibles last spring. Shibles accepted the head coaching job at Division I Dartmouth College.

“We are all adjusting to change, including myself,” said Santimano, who comes to Bowdoin after coaching at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts for the last 10 years. “Wherever you go, things will be different.”

Lloyd replaced 35-year coach Tim Gilbride, who retired in late March.

The Polar Bears opened the season with an 89-68 victory over Thomas College on Nov. 13.

Bowdoin women’s basketball coach Sacha Santimano draws up a play during a timeout in a game against the University of Southern Maine on Tuesday in Brunswick. Photo provided by Bowdoin Athletics/Brian Beard

“To be able to share the first Bowdoin win in over 600 days with the team was a special moment for me,” said Lloyd, who was previously working for the Memphis Hustle, the G-League affiliate of the Memphis Grizzlies. “I was happier for the guys than myself, but it felt good to get that.”

The Bowdoin men will head to Springfield, Massachusetts this weekend for the Western New England Tip-Off Tournament.

The Bowdoin women have victories over Nazareth College, the University of New England, and the University of Southern Maine.

Although still early in the season, Santimano says she’s constantly looking to make adjustments.

“I am a coach that believes in always making adjustments when you can, it’s how a team gets better,” she said. “If we are doing the same thing every day, that isn’t what makes a team grow. My motto is to get 1% better every day.”

The women’s team will host the Bowdoin Tip-Off tournament this weekend.

Santimano and Lloyd both said they are eager to keep alive the winning tradition at Bowdoin, while also trying to carve out their own identities.

“It’s a culture here at Bowdoin and we have a great group of young women to represent the school,” said Santimano. “For our team, it’s not just about basketball, we are a family. That’s the type of thing that builds tradition in a program.”

Added Lloyd: “Off the court, I’m really enjoying getting to know people around the college and area. On the court, I’ve enjoyed working with the group of guys that we have. The energy and commitment they’ve shown on and off the court have been great.”

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