Karen Pinkos was named the eighth head coach in the history of Southern New Hampshire University women's basketball on May 5, 2005.
A 1988 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Pinkos spent nine years as an assistant at Northeastern University prior to accepting the position at SNHU and owns over 16 years of Division I coaching experience.
In her first 10 seasons, Pinkos, a native of Allenstown, N.H., has led the Penmen to six Northeast-10 Tournament appearances, the first six in the history of the program. SNHU appeared in five straight NE-10 Tournaments from 2008-12, and advanced to the quarterfinals in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Under Pinkos' tutelage, the Penmen have been one of the nation's top teams academically, earning a spot on the WBCA Division II Academic Top 25 in each of the past three years. SNHU women's basketball also earned the Northeast-10 Team Academic Excellence Award in 2012-13 and 2014-15. The program is also active in the community.
The 2012-13 season saw Pinkos win her 100th career game against Southern Connecticut State University. Sloane Sorrell became the first two-time Northeast-10 All-Conference selection for the Penmen as she garnered Third Team honors.
In 2011-12, the Penmen posted a 19-10 mark, the program's best season since 1990-91. SNHU was ranked regionally and also garnered votes in the WBCA Division II Top 25. Senior Christine Duffy led all three NCAA divisions in assists per game, while Duffy and Sloane Sorrell were each named Northeast-10 All-Conference.
In 2008-09, SNHU recorded an 18-11 record and posted its first NE-10 Tournament win over Le Moyne. The Penmen were ranked in the top 10 in the East Region for much of the season.
In 2009-10 the Penmen had two Northeast-10 All-Conference selections as well as a selection to the league's All-Rookie Team while once again reaching the conference tournament.
Pinkos began her coaching career at the University of New Hampshire and also served as an assistant at Boston College and Providence College, before joining the coaching staff at Northeastern in 1996. She helped Providence to a share of the Big East 7 title in 1996.
Recognized as one of the nation's top assistant coaches by Women's Basketball Journal in 2000, she helped guide Northeastern to an America East title and the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1999.
Her recruiting success stories at Northeastern included six all-rookie team selections, and she helped develop six all-conference performers.
Pinkos was a four-year member of the women's basketball team at New Hampshire and served as a team captain her junior and senior year. She collected first-team all-conference honors as senior after guiding the Wildcats to a 19-win season, and still ranks high among the program's all-time leaders in career assists. She went on to play professionally in Germany after earning her bachelor's degree in leisure management and tourism.
Pinkos was an all-state performer at Pembroke Academy and participated in the New Hampshire/Vermont Alhambra All-Star game following her senior year. She was inducted into the Pembroke Academy Hall of Fame in the summer of 2006.