Margot Guinan McDonnell

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  • January 12, 2024
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It is hard to believe that it has been 30 years since Margot Guinan McDonnell starred at MCA, both on the track and in the hardwood. She would graduate from Mount Carmel Area in 1985 from one of the most prolific athletic classes in MCA history. It included Frank Bolick, Mike Diminick, Maria Fantanarosa, Jennifer Hutnick, Joanne Menapace, Rob Varano, and Angela Vaughn Farranato already elected to Ed Romance Chapter, and Lisa Balichick Varano, a future hall of famer. Diminick and Fantanarosa are also members of the state Hall of Fame.

Margot was an integral part of the revitalization of the girls basketball program in the early 80’s along with new coach Deb Greco Perles, Lisa Balichick Varano, and Maria Fantanarosa. As freshmen, the Lady Tornadoes would go 9-17, but qualified for the open District IV tournament after a brutal year in Division One of the Schuylkill League. They would defeat Selinsgrove and Mifflinburg before losing to Lourdes Regional in the final by a 43-51 score. They would become the first MCA girls team to play in the state tournament and finished 11-19. As sophomores, it was more of the same, again losing in the District IV final to Loyalsock by 1 48-67 margin. The 83-84 season found the Tornadoes hitting their stride and finishing the season with a school-record 26 wins with 11 losses, finishing as the third place team in District IV. With Margot in her fourth year as the starting point guard, the Tornadoes finally overcame the last hurdle when they defeated Middleburg by a 71-70 score and the school’s first ever District IV basketball championship. The girls would earn MCA’s first state playoff win defeating Holy Name before eventually losing to Kutztown in the Eastern ¼ final. Along the way, McDonnell would register 853 assists, becoming the first female to pass the 500 mark.

Margot also excelled in track, running the 400, 800, and 1600 meter runs along with the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 meter relays. Her 4 x 800 meter relay team with Joanne Menapace, Tammy Trione, and Angela Vaughn would establish a new school record on the way to a 4th place medal at the 1985 PIAA state championship meet. The 9:42.8 was also a regional record at the time and was not surpassed at MCA until last season. The 1985 team won its first District IV Championship since 1976 under coaches Steve Lapotsky and Al Santos.

Guinan also ran cross country with the Lady Tornadoes and, in the fall of 1984, helped the team to a second place finish in the District IV Championships and an 8th place spot at the PIAA State Championship Cross Country Meet.

Margot is a 1989 graduate of Penn State University, with a degree in Labor and Industrial Relations. She began her career in human resources and retail management for Wanamakers Department Store then moved into Technology Sales and Management for several technology firms, including Oracle Corporation. For the past 20 years, Margot has been in IT Sales Management, and is currently owner/partner for BizTech, an Oracle consulting firm based out of King of Prussia, PA, with responsibilities for all aspects of business development, marketing, and sales, including managing Oracle business relationships.

Margot lives in Doylestown, PA, with her husband Kevin, a 1983 graduate of Mount Carmel, and her children – son Luke (14 years old) and daughter Logan (11 years old). Margot has been coaching youth and CYO basketball for the past eight years, and supports numerous volunteer programs and foundations, including the Travis Manion Foundation and Basketball Buddies at the YMCA. Margot still runs, plays basketball, and does cross fit to stay active.

Categories: 2015 Hall of Fame