TAMPA, Fla. (USBWA) – Now Princeton's
Courtney Banghart has provided
another first for the Ivy League.
On Sunday the former Dartmouth star, who graduated the Big Green
in 2000, became the first individual from the Ancient Eight to win
the Women's National Coach of the Year Award from the
Writers Association after leading the Tigers to a first-ever
unbeaten 30-0 regular-season record.
The USBWA began the award in the 1989-90 season.
Princeton, which previously earned a No. 25 ranking in the final
Associated Press women's poll of 2012 this time around entered the
poll at mid-season and rose as high as 13th as the only Ivy
ever ranked. The Tigers also crashed the USA Today Coaches' Poll
to become the first Ivy member to appear in that ranking.
Banghart received her award Sunday afternoon in Amalie Arena
here prior to the start of the NCAA national semifinals.
Besides winning a fifth Ivy crown in the last six years, Banghart
recorded the second ever Ivy win in the NCAA women's tournament
when the Tigers beat Green Bay at College Park, Md., before losing
to host Maryland, a Final Four team, in the second round.
So dominant were the Tigers that out of a possible 14 presentations,
Princeton had a member be named either the Ivy's player or co-player
of the week all 14 times, highlighted by senior Blake Dietrick, who
received the honor seven times.
Banghart was recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of the
world's 50 greatest leaders.
This past season, her eighth, she became the winningest coach
in program history at 169-67 for a .716 winning percentage.
"I always look at players who were great in hiring my coaches,"
said retired Princeton athletic director Gary Walters recently when
asked what drew him to Banghart to fill the vacancy.
A native of Manchester, N.H., who grew up in Amherst in the same
state, Banghart was hired in 2007 and guided a team that struggled
to a 7-23 record that season. But the next the Tigers team reached .500
and has since produced six straight seasons of 20 or more victories,
including this past one, which concluded at 31-1.
One of her freshmen is Leslie Robinson, the daughter of former
Princeton men's star and former Oregon State and Brown men's coach
Craig Robison and is the niece of President Barack Obama and Michelle
Obama, who each came to separate Princeton games this past season.
The president became the first White House occupant to attend
the NCAA women's tournament when he appeared opener at nearby Maryland
in the Xfinity Center while the First Lady dropped in on a Princeton
game in November at nearby American University.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in
1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers.
With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential
organizations in college basketball. For more information on the
USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch
USBWA NATIONAL COACHES OF THE YEAR
Tara VanDerveer, Stanford
Debbie Ryan, Virginia
Christine Weller, Maryland
Jim Foster, Vanderbilt
Ceal Barry, Colorado
Geno Auriemma, Connecticut
Leon Barmore, Louisiana Tech
1996-97 Wendy Lary, Old Dominion
1997-98 Pat Summitt, Tennessee
1998-99 Carolyn Peck, Purdue
1999-00 Andy Landers, Georgia
2000-01 Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
2001-02 Brenda Oldfield (Frese), Minnesota
2002-03 Geno Auriemma, Connecticut
2003-04 Joe Curl,
2004-05 Pokey Chatman,
2005-06 Sylvia Hatchell,
2006-07 Gail Goestenkors,
2007-08 Geno Auriemma, Connecticut
2008-09 Geno Auriemma, Connecticut
2009-10 Connie Yori, Nebraska
2010-11 Kim Mulkey, Baylor
Kim Mulkey, Baylor
McGraw, Notre Dame
McGraw, Notre Dame