April 5, 2015
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Mitch
8th-year coach guided Tigers to 30-0 regular season
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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 U.S. Basketball 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 League team 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 at 314-795-6821.

 1989-90 Tara VanDerveer, Stanford
1990-91 Debbie Ryan, Virginia
1991-92 Christine Weller, Maryland
1992-93 Jim Foster, Vanderbilt
1993-94 Ceal Barry, Colorado
1994-95 Geno Auriemma, Connecticut
1995-96 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, Houston
2004-05 Pokey Chatman, LSU
2005-06 Sylvia Hatchell, North Carolina
2006-07 Gail Goestenkors, Duke
2007-08 Geno Auriemma, Connecticut
2008-09 Geno Auriemma, Connecticut
2009-10 Connie Yori, Nebraska
2010-11 Kim Mulkey, Baylor
2011-12 Kim Mulkey, Baylor
2012-13 Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
2013-14 Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
2014-15 Courtney Banghart, Princeton