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USA TODAY SPORTS DIVISION I TOP 25 COACHES' POLL

April 9, 2014

The USA TODAY Sports Top 25 women's basketball coaches poll, with team's RECORDS THROUGH END OF SEASON in parentheses, total points based on 25 points for first place through one point for 25th, ranking in last week's poll and first-place votes received:

Rank
School (record)
Points
Last week's rank
First-place votes
1
Connecticut (40-0)
800
1
32
2
Notre Dame (37-1)
768
2
 
3
Stanford (33-4)
730
5
 
4
Maryland (28-7)
690
9
 
5
Louisville (33-5)
660
4
 
6
Baylor (32-5)
649
6
 
7
North Carolina (27-10)
568
13
 
8
Tennessee (29-6)
566
3
 
9
South Carolina (29-5)
543
8
 
10
Texas A&M (27-9)
516
14
 
11
Kentucky (26-9)
471
11
 
12
West Virginia (30-5)
395
7
 
13
Duke (28-7)
394
10
 
14
Penn State (24-8)
360
15
 
15
Oklahoma State (25-9)
335
18
 
16
DePaul (29-7)
313
21
 
17
Nebraska (26-7)
301
12
 
18
Brigham Young (28-7)
203
not ranked
 
19
Purdue (22-9)
194
19
 
20
California (22-10)
152
22
 
21
North Carolina State (25-8)
145
17
 
22
Gonzaga (29-5)
119
16
 
23
Michigan State (23-10)
99
24
 
24
LSU (21-13)
92
not ranked
 
25
Oregon State (24-11)
57
not ranked


Dropped Out:
No. 20 Middle Tennessee (29-5), No. 23 Iowa State (20-11), No. 25 Iowa (27-9).

Others receiving votes:
Iowa (27-9) 53; James Madison (29-6) 50; Texas (22-12) 38; Arizona State (23-10) 30; Syracuse (23-10) 25; Middle Tennessee (29-5) 19; Iowa State (20-11) 11; St. John‘s (23-11) 9; Florida State (21-12) 8; Florida Gulf Coast (26-8) 7; Rutgers (28-9) 7; Tennessee-Martin (24-8) 6; Wichita State (26-7) 5; Southern California (22-13) 4; Florida (20-13) 3; Dayton (23-8) 2; South Florida (23-13) 2; Bowling Green (30-5) 1.

The USA TODAY Sports Board of Coaches is made up of 32 head coaches at Division I institutions. All are members of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. The board for the 2013-14 season: Joan Bonvicini, Seattle University; Joanne Boyle, Virginia; Lynn Bria, Stetson; June Daugherty, Washington State; Kathy Delany-Smith, Harvard; Brooks Donald-Williams, McNeese State; Tonya Edwards, Alcorn State; Oties Epps, Evansville; Jose Fernandez, South Florida; Stephanie Gaitley, Fordham; Sue Guevara, Central Michigan; Joe Haigh, St. Francis (Pa.); Bonnie Henrickson, Kansas; Rick Insell, Middle Tennessee; Jeff Judkins, Brigham Young; Krista Kilburn-Stevesky, Hofstra; Andy Landers, Georgia; Kellie Lewis-Jay, Florida Atlantic; Kevin McMillan, Tennessee-Martin; Dave Magarity, Army; Suzy Merchant, Michigan State; Faith Mimnaugh, Cal Poly; Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick, North Carolina-Asheville; John Olenowski, Manhattan; Kathy Olivier, UNLV; Kate Peterson Abiad, Cleveland State; Jennifer Rizzotti, Hartford; Susan Robinison-Fruchtl, Providence; David Six, Hampton; Charlotte Smith, Elon; Jaime White, Northern Colorado; Amy Williams, South Dakota.

 

 

 


NASHVILLE (April 7, 2014) -
The Colorado Christian University women's basketball program has been honored by Russell Athletic and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) as the recipient of the third annual Russell Athletic "Together We R" Team Award. Tim Hays, head coach of the Cougars, was presented with the award at the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show.

In its third year, the "Together We R" Team Award honors programs that have strived to succeed in the face of adversity, overcoming extraordinary circumstances such as an unforeseen team crisis, barrier or unfortunate situation that caused extra stress. The team must exemplify strong commitment to core values of togetherness, courage, unparalleled work ethic and heart, and must personify the "Together We R" belief that teams are stronger than individuals.

From the initial submissions, a committee composed of WBCA past presidents narrowed it to four finalists - Colorado Christian University, Purdue University, the University of North Carolina and the University of South Carolina. Each institution submitted a video telling their story which was posted on the WBCA's YouTube channel. Fans were asked to watch the videos and show their support by voting for who they believed should be the winner of the award. The Cougars garnered the most fan votes with more than 4,677 views and 909 "likes" on their video, and received one additional vote when the selection committee met to determine the winner.

Colorado Christian University dedicated their 2013 season to team manager Kaylee McBeth who had been placed on the heart transplant list because of a tumor in her heart. On January 20, 2014 McBeth lost her battle. The Cougars mission to be "One" heartbeat and personify what it meant to be #KayleeStrong was even greater from that day forth. Colorado Christian University had the option to not play the weekend following McBeth's passing, but the Cougars decided to play on top of attending the memorial service and won both games.

Below is an excerpt from the submission made on the team's behalf:

"Coach I don't like to stand in front of people, that's why I love being a manager. I like being in the background," said Kaylee McBeth. "If with my story one person's life is impacted then it was worth my life and my death."

Colorado Christian University won three straight following McBeth's passing and won eight of its last 11 games. The Cougars finished the season 15-13 overall and played in the first round of the NCCAA Central Regional Tournament after a year hiatus.

"It's unfortunate that everyone associated with the Colorado Christian University program experienced such a tragedy. However, the determination and perseverance of the Cougars and their focus to be #KayleeStrong is a perfect demonstration of what one can overcome when working together as a team," said Russell Athletic Senior Vice President General Manager, Robby Davis. "Everyone associated with the program came together to ensure that this team had the support it needed to continue. It's a pleasure to recognize Colorado Christian University with the ‘Together We R' Award. "

"One of the hardest things in life to go through is the passing of a ‘family' member," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Colorado Christian persevered and truly exemplified what it meant to be #KayleeStrong after Kaylee passed away. The Cougars continue to carry on Kaylee's legacy and are well deserving of the ‘Together We R' award."

About RUSSELL:

For more than 100 years, Russell Brands, LLC, has supplied America's athletes and teams with the latest innovations to help them perform at their best and is a leading supplier of apparel and team uniforms at the high school, college and professional levels. Russell's collegiate licensed products and athletic wear are broadly distributed and marketed through department stores, sports specialty stores, retail chains and college bookstores. For more information, please visit www.RussellAthletic.com, facebook.com/russellathletic, Twitter.com/RussellAthletic.

About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.

 

 

NASHVILLE (April 7, 2014) - Iona College's Billi Godsey is the 2014 recipient of the Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year Award, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced tonight at the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show. This distinguished award honors a WBCA Division I head coach who has led his or her team to a successful season during his or her first year at the helm.

"It can be overwhelming during a head coach's rookie season, but Billi has done a tremendous job at the helm of the Iona College program and will continue to have success," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "We are proud to present Billi with the Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year award."

"Coach Godsey's stellar inaugural season at Iona and her smooth transition at the helm of a Division I program represent what the award and Coach Dixon embody," said Paul Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Spalding, who sponsors the award. "Coach Godsey's hard work, passion for the game and successful coaching have rightly earned her the Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year."

Godsey became Iona College's seventh head coach of the women's basketball program in May of 2013. In her first season, Godsey led Iona to a program record 26 victories, and its fifth 20-win season. The Gaels competed in postseason play for the second consecutive year, with back-to-back WNIT appearances. Godsey was named the Mid-Major Coach of the Year by College Sports Madness after helping guide Iona to its first ever Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship. She was also selected as the MAAC Coach of the Year, the first rookie head coach to win the honor in over two decades.

Prior to coming to Iona College, Godsey spent the previous two seasons as an assistant at Virginia Tech. During her tenure there the Hokies improved their Atlantic Coast Conference mark in both seasons.

Before joining Virginia Tech's staff, she spent three years at UMBC as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator; two years at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, N.Y. as an assistant and the Associate Director of Athletics, Senior Woman Administrator and Compliance Officer. While at Molloy, Godsey helped guide the program to its first-ever East Coast Conference title.

The Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year Award is named in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, former Army head coach, whose success during her inaugural year at the Army helm was remarkable. The Black Knights won the Patriot League title in 2006 and Dixon was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year after leading Army to the NCAA Tournament for the first time at the NCAA Division I level. Coach Dixon passed away on April 6, 2006, just a few weeks following their appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

About Spalding:

A Division of Russell Brands, LLC, Spalding is the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world, and America's first baseball company. Spalding is the official basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the official backboard of the NBA and NCAA, and the official baseball of the Little League World Series. In addition to being a leading producer and marketer of basketballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls, Spalding produces softballs under the Dudley brand. The SPALDING® and DUDLEY® trademarks are owned by Russell Brands, LLC. For more information, visit www.spalding.com.

About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.

 

 

NASHVILLE (April 7, 2014) - Stefanie Dolson of the University of Connecticut is the 2014 WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year presented by the United States Marine Corps, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced during the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday night. The event is part of the WBCA National Convention held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four®.

The Defensive Player of the Year award honors the best defensive collegiate Division I women's basketball player. All Division I conference defensive players of the year are eligible to be nominated for the award. A selection committee makes the final decision on the winner. If a conference does not select a defensive player of the year, the conference representative can nominate one player to be considered.

Baylor's Odyssey Sims and Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike were also finalists for the award.

Dolson leads the American Athletic Conference in defensive rebounds (7.1 avg./g.). She is second in the league in rebounds (9.2 avg./g) and fourth in blocked shots. The American Conference Defensive Player of the Year is the fifth Husky to record at least 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Dolson joined Kara Wolters as only the second UConn player to four-peat as a conference All-Tournament selection. Dolson recorded the programs second triple-double against Oregon on Nov. 20.

UConn is ranked first in the nation for Division I programs in blocked shots per game (8.2) and scoring defense (47.3).

About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.

 

NASHVILLE (April 7, 2014) - Muffet McGraw of the University of Notre Dame was presented the inaugural Pat Summitt Trophy as the 2014 Russell Athletic/WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced tonight during the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show.

Also receiving the Pat Summitt Trophy as Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year in other WBCA membership divisions were:

• NCAA Division II - Barbara Stevens, Bentley University
• NCAA Division III -- Marc Mitchell, Fairleigh Dickinson University (Florham)
• NAIA -- Russ Davis, Vanguard University
• Junior/Community College -- Trenia Tillis Jones, Tyler Junior College
• High School - Cathy Self Morgan, Duncanville High School

"We congratulate these coaches for receiving the Russell Athletic WBCA Coach-of-the-Year Award," said Senior Vice President General Manager of Russell Athletic, Robby Davis. "All of these coaches embody the team concept we embrace at our Company, and we are pleased to honor them for a fantastic season."

This is the first year the physical award presented to the six Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year has borne Summitt's name. It will be the only national coach of the year award to do so. The legendary University of Tennessee head coach, who stepped down in April 2012, is the winningest basketball coach (men's or women's) in NCAA Division I history with 1,098 career victories. Summitt led the Lady Vols to eight NCAA Division I national championships and was named the Russell Athletic/WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year three times in her career.

"The WBCA is delighted to name Muffet as the 2014 Russell Athletic/WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year, for the second consecutive year" said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Muffet had another banner season and is very deserving of this honor."

Muffet McGraw-University of Notre Dame - Division I

For the second consecutive year and third time in her career, Muffet McGraw was named the Russell Athletic/WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year.

This season McGraw earned her sixth conference Coach of the Year award for her career, and fifth at the University of Notre Dame. McGraw is only the second coach in Fighting Irish history to be named conference Coach of the Year in consecutive seasons.

McGraw has led the Fighting Irish to Ten conference titles, including three BIG EAST crowns (2001, 2012, 2013) and the ACC regular season and Tournament championships this year in their inaugural season as a member of the ACC.

McGraw has guided Notre Dame to four trips to the NCAA Division I national championship game and six trips to the NCAA Women's Final Four (1997, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014).

Recently named the AP National Coach of the Year, McGraw is ranked second on the all-time wins list for all sports in the 127-year history of Notre Dame athletics. She is ranked 10th in NCAA Division I history for career wins. The Fighting Irish are currently 37-0, carrying the second longest winning streak by any Fighting Irish team in any sport since World War II.

Barbara Stevens- Bentley University- Division II
Barbara Stevens earned her unprecedented fifth Russell Athletic/WBCA Division II Coach of the Year award this year. Stevens led Bentley University to the NCAA Division II national championship this season with a perfect 35-0 record. Her team became only the second undefeated national champion in Division II history.

Over the course of four years Stevens has guided the Falcons to a 124-11 record, including 96-6 over the last three seasons, with three Elite Eight trips and eight Northeast-10 Conference championships (four regular season, four playoff).

Stevens was named the Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year for the 14th time this year and she became only the sixth women's basketball coach to reach the 900-win plateau.

Stevens has a career record of 917-246, including 760-155 in 28 Bentley seasons. She was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Marc Mitchell- Fairleigh Dickinson University, Florham - Division III
Marc Mitchell completed his fifth season at the helm of the FDU-Florham Devils Women's Basketball program. He is the winningest coach in program history with an overall record of 90-47 (.657).

This season, Mitchell led FDU-Florham to its first NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship and a perfect 33-0 record. The Devils are the first NCAA women's basketball champion in New Jersey history. He has been named the 2014 Schelde Sports/Women's DIII News Coach of the Year and the D3hoops.com Coach of the Year.

Last season, he led the Devils to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance after going 24-4 and leading the Devils to a Middle Atlantic Conference Championship. Mitchell was also named Freedom Conference Coach of the Year last season.

Before coming to FDU, Mitchell was the top assistant at Caldwell College in 2008-09. He spent 2007-08 as an assistant coach at New Jersey City University and the three previous seasons as the Head Girl's Basketball Coach at Elizabeth High School. While at Elizabeth, he led the squad to the County Semifinals in 2005 and to the State Tournament all three years.

Russ Davis - Vanguard University - NAIA
Russ Davis led the NAIA's top-ranked Vanguard Lions to a perfect regular season, winning 25-straight games en route to the 2014 Golden State Athletic Conference title. He was voted the GSAC Coach of the Year for his team's unblemished 14-0 league record.

Davis has won eight GSAC Championships and boasts a 477-113 record in his 18-year career. He was inducted into the Vanguard Athletics Hall of Fame on January 31, 2014.

Among active NAIA coaches, Davis ranks first in overall career winning percentage. His teams have won 11 conference titles and have made 16 trips to the national tournament. Davis has taken four squads to the final four and nine teams to the elite eight. He won the ultimate crown, Vanguard's first-ever NAIA national championship in 2008.

Coach Davis has 27 wins at nationals, ranking him the highest of any active coach. His teams have been ranked No. 1 in NAIA polls 40 times in his career.

Trenia Tillis Jones - Tyler Junior College - JC/CC
Jones joined the Tyler Junior College Staff in 2000 and is now in her 14th season as the Apaches head coach. She was named Coach of the Year in Region XIV.

Following an 11-19 2013 season, Jones lead TJC to a 30-6 overall record and national ranking of No. 11.

Jones guided Tyler Junior College to its first NJCAA tournament bid since the 2007 season, where they advanced to the NJCAA quarterfinals.

Cathy Self-Morgan - Duncanville - HS
In 14 seasons at Duncanville High School, Coach Cathy Self-Morgan has led the Pantherettes to three State Championship titles, including three consecutive State Championship appearances and back to back titles in 2012 and 2013.

Over her thirty-five years of girls high school varsity coaching, Self-Morgan has compiled a record of 991-200; an 83% career wins percentage. Before coming to Duncanville she led the Austin Westlake Chaparrals to the Class 5-A state Championship in l995 and in l996 and the 4-A State Championship in l993.

Russell Athletic and the WBCA present the national coach of the year award annually in each of the six WBCA membership divisions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III; NAIA; junior/community college and high school). This marks the 32nd year the awards have been given in the junior/community college and NCAA divisions, while the WBCA has honored an NAIA and high school coach of the year for 30 and 25 years respectively.

About Russell Athletic:
For more than 100 years, Russell Brands, LLC, has supplied America's athletes and teams with the latest innovations to help them perform at their best and is a leading supplier of apparel and team uniforms at the high school, college and professional levels. Russell's collegiate licensed products and athletic wear are broadly distributed and marketed through department stores, sports specialty stores, retail chains and college bookstores. For more information, please visit www.RussellAthletic.com, facebook.com/russellathletic, Twitter.com/RussellAthletic.

About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.

 

 

NASHVILLE (April 7, 2014) - Odyssey Sims of Baylor University is the winner of the 2014 Wade Trophy, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced tonight during the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show. The prestigious award, regarded as "The Heisman of Women's Basketball," is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the WBCA and the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America).

The WBCA also announced the WBCA Players of the Year in the other collegiate divisions. Lauren Battista of Bentley University was named NCAA Division II player of the year, Sydney Moss of Thomas More College was named NCAA Division III player of the year, Nicole Ballestero of Vanguard University was named NAIA player of the year and Adut Bulgak of Trinity Valley Community College was named the Junior/Community College player of the year.

"On behalf of the WBCA and the NAGWS I am honored to present Odyssey with The Wade Trophy - women's basketball's highest honor," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Odyssey was a force to be reckoned with this season and was a pleasure to watch."

Earlier this week Sims was named a WBCA All American for the third consecutive season (2012, 2013, 2014). She was also named a USBWA All American for the third time and to the AP All American first team for the second consecutive year (2013, 2014). Sims was named the Frances Pomeroy Naismith winner, collected Big 12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors earlier this season. She was also a finalist for the 2014 WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year presented by the United States Marine Corps.

Sims set a Big 12 Conference single season scoring record with 1,054 points. She became just the second player to ever score over 1,000 points in a single season, and was just eight points shy of Jackie Stiles' record (1,062 points).

Sims set new career records at Baylor University for most assists (572) and most three point field goals made (223). In her senior season she averaged 28.4 ppg., 4.6 apg., 4.6 rpg. and 2.0 spg. while shooting 45% from the floor, 39% from behind the arc and 80.4% from the free throw line.

The Wade Trophy, now in its 37th year, is named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. The award debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball.

The first recipient of the Wade Trophy was Carol Blazejowski of Montclair State in 1978. Other Wade Trophy/NCAA Division I Player of the Year recipients include many standouts such as Nancy Lieberman (1979 & 1980), Teresa Weatherspoon (1988), DeLisha Milton-Jones (1997), Candace Parker (2007), Ticha Penicheiro (1998), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003), Seimone Augustus (2005 & 2006), Maya Moore (2009-2011) Brittney Griner (2012 & 2013).

The Wade Trophy Coalition was established in June 2000 when the WBCA partnered with The National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS), now known as the Society of Health and Physical Educators, doing business as SHAPE America. For the past 11 years the two have worked together to present The Wade Trophy player of the year award. A committee composed of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States selects the winner.

WBCA collegiate players of the year:

Lauren Battista, Bentley University, NCAA Division II
Battista helped lead number one-ranked Bentley to a perfect 35-0 record and the program's first ever National Championship. She is the Falcons' all-time leading scorer and was recently named the Capital One Academic All-America of the Year for Division II.

During her four seasons, Battista helped Bentley amass a 124-11 record with three trips to the Elite Eight, three 30-win seasons, four Northeast-10 regular season titles and four conference tournament championships. The two-time NE-10 Player of the Year earned All-Conference recognition all four years, was the conference championship MVP during each of her four seasons, and received WBCA All-America honors during her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

Last summer, Battista earned a gold medal while playing for Team USA at the Maccabiah Games.

Sydney Moss of Thomas More College NCAA Division III
Sophomore guard/forward Sydney Moss helped lead Thomas More College to one of its best seasons in program history. The Saints went 31-1 on the season and appeared in the program's first-ever NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship round of eight.

Moss led the nation in scoring at 27.8 point per game as she tied the NCAA Division III single-season scoring record with 891 points. She broke the NCAA Division III single-game scoring record with 63 points against Waynesburg University in the semifinal game of the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship Tournament. Moss was seventh in the country in field goals percentage at 60.6 percent and eighth in assist-turnover ratio at 2.72. She pulled down 8.4 rebounds per game and recorded 15 double-doubles.

Nicole Ballestero, Vanguard University, NAIA
Senior Nicole Ballestero led the No. 1 Vanguard Lions to a 26-1 overall. She was selected as the Player of the Year in the competitive Golden State Athletic Conference.

Ballestero lead the GSAC in scoring at 22.9 ppg this season and ranks second nationwide. She scored a school-record 53 points on March 7th, 2014 against Hope International. Ballestero scored 20-plus points in 16 games and 30-plus points in seven of the Lions' 27 games.

Ballestero joined the 1,000-point club this season after recording 619 points.

During her junior campaign, Ballestero was a 2012-13 NAIA First Team All-American.

Adut Bulgak, Trinity Valley Junior/Community College
Adut Bulgak averaged 15.8 pts., 11.6 rebs. and 2.5 blocks per game for Trinity Valley and helped guide Trinity Valley to its third consecutive national championship.

Bulgak has been named a first team WBCA NJCAA All-American two consecutive years. She was a 2014 NJCAA Player of the Week twice, two-time Region XIV champion, 2014 Region XIV Tournament MVP, two-time All Region XIV Team, two-time Conference Champion and two-time first team All-Conference.

In 2013, Bulgak helped guide Trinity Valley to a NJCAA National Championship, she was a member of the 2013 National Championship All-Tournament Team, and she was also considered a finalist for the WBCA Junior College/Community College Player of the Year.

The WBCA Players of the Year are selected by committees composed of WBCA-member coaches within the respective membership divisions.

About the Society of Health and Physical Educators:
The Society of Health and Physical Educators, doing business as SHAPE America, is headquartered in Reston, VA, 25 miles west of Washington, D.C. Its vision is "Healthy People - Physically Educated and Physically Active!" SHAPE America is the largest organization of professionals involved in physical education, physical activity, and school health--all specialties related to achieving an active, healthy lifestyle. Its mission is to advance professional practice and promote research related to health and physical education, physical activity, dance and sport by providing its members with a comprehensive and coordinated array of resources, support and programs to help practitioners improve their skills to further the health and well-being of the American public. For more information, visit www.aahperd.org.

About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.

 


NASHVILLE (April 5, 2014)
- Unbeaten's Connecticut and Notre Dame placed a total of five players on the 2014 WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team, which the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced today in a ceremony held at Bridgestone Arena during the 2014 NCAA® Women's Final Four® Super Saturday festivities.

The 10-member team was decided from a group of 52 finalists by the selection committee at an in-person meeting held during the 2014 WBCA National Convention.

Here are the members of the 2014 WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team:

  Name Institution Year Pos. Height 
  Stefanie Dolson University of Connecticut Senior Center 6’5”
  Bria Hartley University of Connecticut Senior Guard 5’8”
  Jordan Hooper University of Nebraska Senior Guard 6’2”
  Jewell Loyd University of Notre Dame Sophomore Guard 5’10”
  Kayla McBride University of Notre Dame Senior Guard 5’11”
  Tiffany Mitchell University of South Carolina Sophomore Guard  5’9”
  Chiney Ogwumike Stanford University Senior Forward 6'3”
  Odyssey Sims Baylor University Senior Guard 5’8”
  Breanna Stewart University of Connecticut Sophomore Forward 6’4”
  Alyssa Thomas University of Maryland Senior Forward 6’2”

"The 10 student-athletes who have been selected to the 2014 Division I Coaches' All-America Team are extremely deserving of this award," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "These young women have led their teams to be contenders for conference championships and berths in the NCAA Tournament. Each of these young women have shown that they are proven leaders and have taken their program to the next level."

This is the 40th year of the WBCA Coaches' All-America program, which began in 1975. Once again all 10 members of the team were present to be honored in person during the ceremony. Remarkably, in the 40-year history of the program, none of the 400 Coaches' All-Americans thus far honored have failed to appear for the announcement.

Stefanie Dolson.
Dolson, a 2013-14 All-American Athletic Conference First Team pick, is averaging 12.3 points per game and leads the squad at 9.1 rebounds per contest.  She leads the conference in field goal percentage and recently became only the fifth Husky all-time, along with Tina Charles, Maya Moore, Rebecca Lobo, and Jamelle Elliott, to register at least 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Dolson is only the second Husky to four-peat as a conference All-Tournament selection. The 2013-14 American Conference Defensive Player of the Year and Sportsmanship Award winner, Dolson was selected to the All-Lincoln Regional Team and earned All-America recognition from the United States Basketball Writers Association and the Associated Press. She is one of three finalists for the WBCA Defensive Player of the Year award.

Bria Hartley. Hartley, a 2013-14 All-American Conference First Team selection, is second on the team with 16.3 points per game and 166 assists. She is in the league’s top-seven in scoring, assists, assist-to-turnover ratio, steals and three-point field goal percentage and has scored 20 or more points 11 times this year. A USBWA and AP Second Team All-America selection, Hartley is only the second Husky all-time, along with Maya Moore and Diana Taurasi, to post at least 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists. The USBWA National Player of the Week on January 20, Hartley was selected to the All-Lincoln Regional Team after leading the Huskies to their seventh-straight Final Four.

Jordan Hooper. The Big Ten Player-of-the-Year Hooper becomes the third first-team WBCA All-American in Nebraska history, joining 1993 Wade Trophy winner Karen Jennings and 2010 All-American Kelsey Griffin. Hooper was a finalist for the Wade Trophy, the Wooden Award and the Senior CLASS Award. A three-time first-team All-Big Ten pick and a two-time Big Ten All-Tournament selection, Hooper shattered Nebraska’s three-point record with 295 in her career. She also became the first Husker and just the second Big Ten player in history to achieve the combined milestones of 2,300 points and 1,100 rebounds. Along with ranking second in school history in both points and rebounds, she tied Griffin’s Nebraska record with 40 career double-doubles.

Jewell Loyd. Loyd currently ranks fifth in the ACC in scoring (18.8 ppg.), sixth in free throw percentage (.824), ninth in field goal percentage (.524). She also has a team-high 13 20-point games thus far. Loyd has scored in double figures in 41 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in program history, and has a school record-tying three 30-point games to her credit this season. The 5-10 guard is the third-fastest Fighting Irish player ever to score 1,000 career points, doing so in only 67 games. Loyd was one of two underclassmen named to this year’s USBWA All-America Team and was tabbed as an espnW second-team All-American member. The espnW National Player of the Week and ACC Player of the Week on Feb. 24 is a finalist for the Wade Trophy and the Wooden Award.

Kayla McBride. McBride is averaging career highs in scoring (17.2 ppg.), rebounding (5.2 rpg.), assists (3.9 apg.) and assist/turnover ratio (1.89). She is 12th in the nation and second in the ACC in free throw percentage (.881), fourth in the league in assist/turnover ratio (1.9), eighth in assists (3.9) and 10th in three-point percentage (.375). In Notre Dame's 13 games against Top 25 opponents this season, McBride is averaging 18.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Versus top-10 teams she is averaging 20.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. The ACC Player of the Year is a finalist for the Wade Trophy, Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy. The Erie, Pa. native was named to the USBWA All-America Team and was selected as an espnW first-team All-America member.

Tiffany Mitchell. Mitchell became just the second sophomore in league history to earn SEC Player of the Year honors from the conference coaches, joining Candace Parker in the distinction. She was a First-Team All-SEC selection by both the coaches and the Associated Press, which also voted her to its All-America Third Team. The Charlotte, N.C. native is a finalist for both The Wade Trophy and the Dawn Staley Award and was on the Wooden Award final ballot, making her just the third Gamecock in the 40 seasons of women’s basketball at the University of South Carolina to be in contention for individual national awards.

Chiney Ogwumike. Ogwumike helped lead the Cardinal to a 33-3 overall record, its 14th straight Pac-12 regular-season title and a 12th appearance at the Final Four, was named the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year in February. Entering this weekend’s Final Four, Ogwumike, who swept the Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards for the second straight year, remains the only player in the country to rank in the NCAA top 10 in scoring (26.4 ppg), rebounding (12.1 rpg), field-goal percentage (60.4) and double-doubles (26). She is the Pac-12’s all-time leading rebounder and currently ranks sixth on the NCAA’s all-time list with 1,557. Ogwumike also holds the Pac-12 record for points in a season (952) and Pac-12 record for points in a career (2,722).

Odyssey Sims. Sims is a WBCA All American for the third consecutive season (2012, 2013, and 2014). She was also named a USBWA All American for the third time and to the AP All American first team for the second consecutive year (2013, 2014). Sims was named the Frances Pomeroy Naismith winner, collected Big 12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors earlier this season. A four-year starter, Sims finished her Baylor career with an amazing 140-10 record which included a national championship. Sims averaged 28.5 points a game as a senior, set a Big 12 Conference single season scoring record with 1,054 points and also broke the league’s single season scoring average record. She became just the second Division I women’s player to score over 1,000 points in a season.

Breanna Stewart. Stewart, who was recently selected as the 2013-14 American Athletic Conference and espnW Player of the Year, is leading the top-ranked Huskies at 19.4 points per game and is second on the squad at 8.1 rebounds per contest. She ranks in the league’s top-10 in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage, blocks and free throw percentage. The North Syracuse, N.Y. native was honored as the 2014 American Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player after averaging 21.7 points per game en route to leading UConn to the inaugural title. A USBWA and AP All-America selection, Stewart is a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Wade Trophy and Wooden Award.

Alyssa Thomas. Thomas has led this year’s top 10 Maryland squad in scoring (19.1), rebounding (11.0) and assists (4.3). She leads the country with four triple-doubles this year and 28 double-doubles in 34 games. She is one of four players in NCAA history with six triple-doubles. Thomas is Maryland’s all-time leading scorer for men’s and women’s basketball with 2,342 points and is tied for the school rebounding record with 1,229 career boards. She was named the Louisville Regional Most Outstanding Player after leading the Terrapins to their second Final Four under Brenda Frese.

2014 WBCA Division I Coaches’ All-America Team Honorable Mentions:

  Name Institution Year Pos. Height
  Rachel Banham University of Minnesota Junior Guard 5'9"
  Tiffany Bias Oklahoma State University Senior Guard 5'6"
  Brittany Boyd University of California, Berkeley Junior Guard 5'9"
  Crystal Bradford Central Michigan University Junior Guard 6'0"
  Madi Buck University of North Dakota Senior Forward 6'0"
  Asya Bussie West Virginia University Senior Center 6'4"
  Hallie Christofferson Iowa State University Senior Forward 6’3”
  Jerica Coley Florida International University Senior Guard 5'7"
  Nina Davis Baylor University Freshman Forward 5'11"
  Aaryn Ellenberg University of Oklahoma Senior Guard 5'7"
  Christina Foggie Vanderbilt University Senior Guard 5'9"
  Chelsea Gardner University of Kansas Junior Forward 6’3”
  Markeisha Gatling North Carolina State University Senior Center 6'5"
  Chastity Gooch Western Kentucky University Junior Forward 6'0"
  Dearica Hamby Wake Forest University Junior Forward 6'3"
  Sara Hammond University of Louisville Junior Forward 6'2"
  Aliyyah Handford  St. John's University Sophomore Guard 5'9"
  Cassie Harberts University of Southern Calif. Senior Forward 6'2"
  Isabelle Harrison University of Tennessee Junior Center 6'3"
  Natasha Howard Florida State University Senior Forward 6’3”
  Brittany Hrynko DePaul University Junior Guard 5'7"
  Marissa Janning Creighton University Sophomore Guard 5'8"
  Jasmine Lister Vanderbilt University Senior Guard 5'4"
  Tricia Liston Duke University Senior Guard 6'1"
  Samantha Logic University of Iowa Junior Guard 5'9"
  Maggie Lucas Penn State University Senior Guard 5'10"
  Keena Mays Southern Methodist University Senior Guard 5'7"
  Tyonna Outland California State University Junior Guard 5'9"
  Jasmine Penny DePaul University Senior Forward 6'1"
  Katherine Plouffe Marquette University Senior Forward 6'3”
  Michelle Plouffe University of Utah Senior Forward 6'4"
  Alexis Rogers Bowling Green State University Senior Forward 6’1”
  Ebony Rowe Middle Tennessee State University Senior Forward 6'1"
  Shoni Schimmel University of Louisville Senior Guard 5'9"
  Meighan Simmons University of Tennessee Senior Guard 5'9"
  Kacie Sowell Seattle University Senior Forward 6'2"
  DeNesha Stallworth University of Kentucky Senior Forward 6’3”
  Rachel Tecca University of Akron Senior Forward 6'1"
  Aleighsa Welch University of South Carolina Junior Forward 6'0"
  Courtney Williams University of South Florida Sophomore Guard 5'8"
  Kayla Woodward University of Wyoming Junior Forward 5’11”
  Amanda Zahui B. University of Minnesota Freshman Center 6'5"


About the WBCA:

Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.

-WBCA-
 

ATLANTA (April 3, 2014) - The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today the finalists for the 2014 WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year presented by the United States Marine Corps.

They are:

• Stefanie Dolson, 6-5, Sr., C, University of Connecticut
• Chiney Ogwumike, 6-4, Sr., F, Stanford University
• Odyssey Sims, 5-8, Sr., G, Baylor University

The Defensive Player of the Year award honors the best defensive collegiate Division I women's basketball player. All Division I conference defensive players of the year are eligible to be nominated for the award. A selection committee makes the final decision on the winner. If a conference does not select a defensive player of the year, the conference representative can nominate one player to be considered.

"These finalists are the ones who make their opponents change up offenses in hopes of being able to find ways to score," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "The age-old adage, ‘defense wins games,' continues to be a dominant factor in the game and each of these women have made it a key component in their play. I wish each of these ladies the best of luck at the WBCA Awards Show in Nashville!"

"The United States Marine Corps is honored to recognize three of women's college basketball leading players as finalists for the WBCA's Division I Defensive Player of the Year Award," said Maj. Gen. Mark Brilakis, Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. "Each nominee exemplifies the leadership attributes of honor, courage and commitment on the court, in the classroom and in all aspects of their lives, which are all values the Marine Corps holds in high esteem."

The winner will be announced during the WBCA Awards Show, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. CT Monday, April 7, in the Omni Nashville Hotel's Broadway Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four®.

About the WBCA:

Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.

 

 

 

 

USA TODAY Sports DIVISION II TOP 25 COACHES' POLL

Final Poll: April 1, 2014

USA TODAY Sports Division II Top 25 women's basketball poll, with first-place votes to the right, total points based on 25 points for first place through one point for 25th.

Rank
Institution - First Place Votes
Previous Rank
Record
Points
1
Bentley University (Mass.) -30
1
35-0
774
2
West Texas A&M University
5
32-3
742
3
Nova Southeastern University (Fla.)
10
29-5
647
4
Colorado Mesa University -1
4
30-2
630
5
Drury University (Mo.)
6
27-4
621
6
California State Polytechnic University - Pomona
18
26-7
584
7
Emporia State University (Kan.)
7
30-4
558
8
Edinboro University (Pa.)
25
27-6
495
9
Gannon University (Pa.)
3
28-4
447
10
Harding University (Ark.)
2
29-3
440
11
University of Central Missouri
8
26-5
383
12
Concordia University (Minn.)
NR
28-9
363
13
Glenville State College (W.Va.)
9
29-4
348
14
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
14
26-5
338
15
University of Tampa (Fla.)
17
24-7
313
16
Wayne State College (Neb.)
T11
28-5
299
17
Limestone College (S.C.)
NR
27-6
256
18
Lewis University (Ill.)
T11
23-6
224
19
Rollins College (Fla.)
16
25-7
188
20
Delta State University (Miss.)
15
24-6
167
21
Montana State University - Billings
NR
25-8
142
22
Virginia State University
13
25-3
132
23
Quincy University (Ill.)
21
23-7
125
24
Northern State University (S.D.)
19
24-7
101
T25
Lenoir-Rhyne University (N.C.)
24
24-7
85
T25
LIU Post (N.Y.)
NR
24-7
85

Dropped Out: Minnesota State University - Mankato; University of North Georgia; Pittsburg State University (Kan.).

Others Receiving Votes:
Minnesota State University - Mankato 82; University of North Georgia 76; Wayne State University (Mich.) 69; Pittsburg State University (Kan.) 67; Armstrong Atlantic State University (Ga.) 55; Adelphi University (N.Y.) 30; Tarleton State University (Texas) 30; Simon Fraser University (BC) 22; California State University - Chico 20; Stonehill College (Mass.) 17; University of Indianapolis (Ind.) 15; Fort Hays State University (Kan.) 14; Wingate University (N.C.) 13; Northwest Nazarene University (Idaho) 12; Academy of Art University (Calif.) 11; University of District of Columbia (DC) 11; Truman State University (Mo.) 9; Clayton State University (Ga.) 8; Shaw University (N.C.) 8; Northern Michigan University 4; Saint Edwards University (Texas) 4; Saint Mary's University (Texas) 3; Albany State University (Ga.) 2; Texas A&M International University 2; Belmont Abbey College (N.C.) 1; Colorado State University - Pueblo 1; University of Charleston (W.Va.) 1.

The USA TODAY Sports board of coaches is made up of 33 head coaches at Division II institutions. All are members of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The 2013-14 board: Carmen Dolfo - Non-voting Chair (Western Washington University), Linda Cimino (Caldwell College), Jeff Curtis (Northwood University), Joddie Gleason (Humboldt State University), Mark Kellogg (West Texas A&M University), Craig Roden (University of West Alabama), Deirdre Kane (West Chester University), Meghan Burke Brown (Southern Connecticut State University), Mary Fleig (Millersville University of Pennsylvania), Kim Lusk (Saint Thomas Aquinas), Beth Jillson (Texas Woman's University), Renee Jimenez (California State University San Bernardino), LaNay Larson (Academy of Art University), LeAnn Freeland (Nova Southeastern), Chris Ellis (Maryville University- St. Louis), Wendy Lee (Mount Olive College), Claudette Charney (Hillsdale College), Tim Kirby (Harding University), Todd Starkey (Lenoir Rhyne University), Corey Laster (University of Colorado-Colorado Springs), Cassandra Moorer (Stillman College), Louis Whorton (University of Arkansas- Fort Smith), Paul Fessler (Concordia University, St. Paul), Annette Wiles (Minnesota, Duluth), Linda Raunig (Regis University), Carrie Seymour (Pace University), Jacques Curtis (Shaw University), Lisa Carlsen (Lewis University), Lane Lord (Pittsburg State University), Lynn Ullom (West Liberty University), Kevin Woodin (Montana State University, Billings), Cindy Hilbrich (University of Montevallo), and Roger Hodge (Lincoln Memorial University).

*Please note that all voters for the DII poll are required to vote each week between 9 p.m. Sunday and 1 p.m. Tuesday ET.

 

 

ATLANTA (March 31, 2014) - The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today the finalists for the 2014 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award, which honors a WBCA Division I head coach who has led his or her team to a successful season during his or her first year at the helm.

The finalists are:

• Dan Burt, Duquesne University
• Bunky Harkleroad, California State University, Sacramento
• Billi Godsey, Iona College
• Mike Neighbors, University of Washington
• Megan Gebbia, American University

The winner will be honored during the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday, April 7, in the Omni Nashville Hotel's Broadway Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention, which is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four®.

"All of these coaches have done a terrific job making an immediate impact at their institution. They will continue to make a difference in the coaching ranks, as well as with the student-athletes they deal with day in and day out," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "I wish these coaches the best of luck at the WBCA Awards Show."

"We are privileged to once again honor the memory of Maggie Dixon while recognizing the best rookie coach in Division I women's basketball," said Paul Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Spalding US. "Maggie will always be a shining example to so many who share a love for the game. Congratulations to this year's finalists for the Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year."

The Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year award is presented in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, former Army head coach, whose success during her inaugural year at the Army helm was remarkable. The Black Knights won the Patriot League title in 2006 and Dixon was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year after leading Army to the NCAA Tournament for the first time at the NCAA Division I level. Coach Dixon passed away on April 6, 2006, just a few weeks following the Black Knights' appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

About Spalding:
A Division of Russell Brands, LLC, Spalding is the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world, and America's first baseball company. Spalding is the official basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the official backboard of the NBA and NCAA, and the official baseball of the Little League World Series. In addition to being a leading producer and marketer of basketballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls, Spalding produces softballs under the Dudley brand. The SPALDING® and DUDLEY® trademarks are owned by Russell Brands, LLC. For more information, visit www.spalding.com.

About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.