With Duke’s women’s basketball coach Gail Goestenkors making the jump to Texas, I ran across this article at ACC Sports Journal. Is Goestenkors’ move the first of many more changes to come in the near future?
Commitment, coaches help ACC women follow men’s lead in hoops
By Doug Herakovich
April 3, 2007
ACC basketball fans long have held their heads high when they discuss the conferenceâ€™s superiority. Now, a smaller group of area fanatics is making the same claims about ACC womenâ€™s basketball.
For more than three decades, the world of collegiate womenâ€™s basketball was dominated by the Southeastern Conference. Schools such as Southern California, Texas and Connecticut have surged into the national spotlight at times, but the SEC has ruled the sport.
In 2005-06, the ACC shocked the womenâ€™s basketball community by sending an unprecedented three teams to the Final Four. This year, when North Carolina followed up another strong regular-season performance by the league with a second straight Final Four trip, the ACC drove home a clear point: The SEC has company on top of the mountain.
Looking at the Ladies
Just in case you havenâ€™t been paying attention, here is a quick primer on the state of womenâ€™s basketball in the ACC:
The Elite: Duke, Maryland, North Carolina
These teams now are defined by 30-win seasons, Final Fours and NCAA titles. Gail Goestenkors (headed to Texas), Brenda Frese and Sylvia Hatchell have built three of Americaâ€™s strongest programs, and the two remaining coaches should bring the ACC even more recognition for the foreseeable future â€“ unless someone lures them away.
The Old Guard: N.C. State, Virginia
Kay Yow and Debbie Ryan were key figures in the growth of ACC womenâ€™s basketball. Yow has been in Raleigh for 32 years, while Ryan took over in Charlottesville in 1977. Both have reached the Final Four, and both still are producing quality teams, but the day is approaching when these programs will have to find new leadership.
On The Cusp: Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech
These three programs are respected across the nation, and they are hoping to make the leap to the next level. The Eagles, Seminoles and Yellow Jackets are seeking the breakthrough recruiting class â€“ or perhaps a magical March run â€“ that will propel their programs toward elite status.
The bottom four schools in the league are playing catch-up with relatively new coaches. Clemson appears to have the best foundation under second-year mentor Cristy McKinney, but all four are facing a very difficult challenge.
Read the entire article here