New Varsity Girls Basketball Coach to Emphasize Fundamentals

New Jersey native Robyn D’Onofrio will coach during Steward’s first year in new conference.

Robyn D’Onofrio has been selected as the new varsity girls basketball coach. Coach D’Onofrio is an experienced player who competed for four years during her undergraduate years at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. She became a basketball official/referee last year.

“I’m really excited about Robyn because she brings characteristics that are so essential to Steward,” said Director of Athletics Bruce Secrest. “She has a love and passion for the game and for young people. That will carry over into the way she coaches and instructs. I really think who she is as a person is what we espouse our students to become.”

The season represents a lot of firsts for Coach D’Onofrio: this is her first official coach position, and this is the first year that Steward is taking part in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools (TCIS) after leaving the League of Independent Schools (LIS).

“There are a lot of expectations that come with being a first-time coach, which is great—I like that,” she said. “We are in a strong conference that will be competitive—it’s not going to be a walk in the park. I think it’ll be exciting to see some of the competition we’re going to face. I’m really excited to make girls basketball something Steward is known for.”

She credits her love of basketball to her high school coach at Pope John XXIII High School, who emphasized fundamentals and logistics of the game to achieve success, which Coach D’Onofrio said she hopes to carry over to her team at Steward.

“Teaching the fundamentals will be my focus: making sure you're executing plays and playing great defense,” she said. “But I’m a big believer in translating basketball fundamentals to life. The focus should be on academics first and athletics is part of that. It’s about becoming a better person and learning to be a good teammate and friend. Winning is just a great byproduct of teamwork.”

Coach D’Onofrio graduated from law school at Syracuse University in 2004 and then obtained her master’s in business administration in 2005 from Norwich. She worked as the public relations and finance director for the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey before moving to Richmond in August 2014 with her husband and two daughters.

She is beginning to make regular appearances on campus leading up to the start of the winter athletics season and is eager to meet parents of current and prospective girls basketball players.


Steward Voices

Steward is an atmosphere that fosters confidence—something we have seen in all three of our kids. Whether it is playing a new sport, running for a seat on the Honor Council, or singing a solo on Talent Night, they have been encouraged to try, to experience, and to grow.
- Dan and Kathi Campbell, Parents of Abbie ’19, Emma ’17, and Ben ’14

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Steward is the right place for Micah and Kiri because they are able to develop strong connections with their teachers, which in turn facilitates confidence and resilience in their learning. Everyone at Steward knows your name and makes you feel so welcome.
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- Grace Henderson ’10

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- Ron Coles, Father of Trace Coles ’19 and Grade 5 Teacher

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- Bowen Chen ’15


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