Immaculata College Mighty Macs DVD Release

Against all odds, the basketball team at a small women’s Catholic college in Pennsylvania makes history as the first national champion team. They become known as The Mighty Macs.

Based on the true story of Hall of Fame coach Cathy Rush, Immaculata College (now university) grabbed the national spotlight during the 1971-72 season with their fairytale journey by winning the first-ever championship tournament of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW).

The movie, which was released in October 2011, will be available on DVD February 21, 2012.


This is definitely the story of the underdog who wins, despite financial, personal and personnel issues. The movie is inspiring and uplifting. 

An interesting tidbit regarding the actors…David Boreanaz, a co-star on the hit TV series Bones, portrays the NBA referee husband of lead character Cathy Rush (played by Carla Gugino), while five years earlier in the movie Glory Road his Bones co-star, Emily Deschanel, portrayed the wife of a high school girl’s basketball coach, Don Haskins (played by Josh Lucas), who became notable for not only being the underdog and winning, but also for breaking the race barrier in NCAA Division I basketball as his Texas Western College (now University of Texas at El Paso) “Mighty Miners” beat the University of Kentucky in 1966 for the coveted NCAA Championship trophy.

The Mighty Macs DVD can be purchased at Amazon: Mighty Macs DVD.

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The Mighty Macs Movie Premiere

The Mighty Macs movie is inspired by the true life Cinderella story of coach Cathy Rush who dared to dream the impossible and, in doing so, led her Immaculata College women’s basketball team during the 1971-1972 season to the first of three consecutive collegiate titles.

That in itself is significant as that first championship captured by Immaculata was also the first ever national title in women’s collegiate basketball.

The movie stars Carla Gugino as Rush, Marley Shelton as Sister Sunday, David Boreanaz as Ed Rush and Ellen Burstyn as Mother St. John and is set against the background of the small, at the time, all-women’s Catholic college which featured some of the coach’s biggest hurdles in order to compete at all: no budget for sports (transportation, uniforms, etc.) and no gymnasium (as it had burned down only months prior to Rush’s arrival).

Against these odds, among others, Coach Rush builds a team of women who become not just contenders but champions in the truest sense of the word. This is definitely a feel-good movie and very aptly moves the audience up and down emotionally through what were extremely trying times for all concerned.

The acting and directing were extremely good, capturing the flavor of the times and the environment. The actresses who portray the Mighty Macs of 1972 on the big screen are: Kim Blair (Lizanne Caufield), Bianka Allyon Brunson (Gayle Moore), Margaret Anne Florence (Rosemary Keenan), Katie Hayek (Trish Sharkey), Kate Nowlin (Colleen McCann), Meghan Sabia (Jen Galantino), and Taylor Steel (Mimi Malone).

For anyone who wants (or needs) a pick-me-up, for those who wish their families to watch a good, old fashioned G Rated movie that contains great content, and balances drama and humor, then The Mighty Macs is your ticket.

The premiere was held at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, approximately 30 miles from Immaculata.

The movie opens across the US on October 21. More information is available at: The Mighty Macs.

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The Mighty Macs of Immaculata College

During the time when John Wooden and his UCLA Bruins were dominating NCAA men’s basketball, winning 10 championships between 1964 and 1975, women’s collegiate basketball began to blossom in 1971, with the start of a competition to crown a women’s championship team.

Through the efforts of coach Cathy Rush at Immaculata College (now University), and a few dedicated people who assisted her, the hoopsters at Immaculata began their winning ways that inaugural year of the AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) tournament by garnering the first of a three-peat performance, capturing the #1 spot during the 1972, 1973 and 1974 seasons.

The team also made the Finals at the AIAW championships the next two seasons and the Final Four in 1977, during Ms. Rush’s final year of coaching.

Many cite the emergence of the “Mighty Macs” as the birth of women’s collegiate basketball. With Cathy Rush at the helm those six seasons, the team amassed a 149-15 record (a .909 winning percentage) and that notation seems very well deserved.

As with many important or touching sporting events or seasons a feature film has been produced based on the true story, against all odds that there would even be a team or a court to play on, of that first winning season.

The honor role of the Mighty Macs includes: Head Coach Cathy Rush and players Janet Ruch Boltz, Denise Conway Crawford, Janet Young Eline, Theresa Shank Grentz, Nancy Johnston, Barbara Deuble Kelly, Tina Krah, Patricia Mulhern Loughran, Judy Marra Martelli, Maureen Mooney, Sue Forsyth O’Grady, Patricia Opila, Rene Muth Portland, Betty Ann Hoffman Quinn, Mary Scharff, Marianne Crawford Stanley, Maureen Stuhlman and Marie Liguori Williams.

The film opens October 21 and should ably depict how determination and conviction can turn what seems to be an absolutely hopeless situation into the path to success by chasing one’s dreams.

The Immaculata team history may be viewed at: The Real Mighty Macs

Anyone interested in sports history is sure to enjoy this film.

Over For Now.

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