NASHVILLE - Vanguard University Head Women's Basketball Coach Russ Davis received the highest coaching honor at the 2014 NCAA Women's Final Four, being named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) National Coach of the Year for the NAIA. His Lions spent the entire regular season ranked No. 1. Davis' program also produced the NAIA and WBCA Player of the Year in 2014, Nicole Ballestero.
Davis previously won the award in 2005 and 2009. He was also selected as the WBCA's West Region Coach of the Year in 2006.
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 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.
Russ Davis - Vanguard University - NAIA
Russ Davis led the NAIA's top-ranked Vanguard Lions to a perfect regular season, winning 25-straight regular season 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.
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.
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.
*Press release courtesy of wbca.org
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