Feb. 28, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- University of Notre Dame women's basketball head coach Muffet McGraw has been named one of 15 finalists for the Naismith Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year Award. It is the second straight year the 13-year Irish mentor has been a finalist for the award.
The winner, selected by Naismith's National Advisory Board members, NCAA Division I coaches former Naismith award winners, NCAA Division I conference commissioners and media representatives, will be presented with the award on April 8 in Atlanta, Ga.
McGraw has guided the Irish to a 24-3 record and 15-1 mark in BIG EAST Conference play this season. Notre Dame has enjoyed a top 10 ranking throughout most of the season. Currently, the Irish are ranked sixth nationally after spending six weeks at No. 5, its highest ranking in school history.
McGraw, who owns a 285-113 ledger at Notre Dame and 373-154 overall mark in 18 seasons, has led the Irish to seven consecutive 20-win seasons. This year, the Irish won a school-record 20 straight before losing to top-ranked Connecticut on Sat., Feb., 26 in their regular-season finale.
McGraw has led Notre Dame to four consecutive 20 NCAA tournament berths and six overall. Her 1997 squad made the school's first and only Final Four appearance, while the 1998 team advanced to the Sweet 16.
The other finalist are: Geno Auriemma (Connecticut), Joe Ciampi (Auburn), Bill Fennelly (Iowa State), Mark French (UC Santa Barbara), Gail Goestenkors (Duke), Sue Gunter (Louisiana State), Andy Landers (Georgia), Rene Portland (Penn State), Marsha Sharp (Texas Tech), C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers), Pat Summitt (Tennessee) and Kay Yow (North Carolina State).