Goestenkors set for induction into Saginaw Valley State Athletics Hall of Fame
Sept. 16, 2010
Mary Kusek, Texas Media Relations
When Gail Goestenkors joined the Saginaw Valley State University women's basketball program as a freshman in 1981, she was worried she might not even make the team. She was a walk-on.
Despite the unheralded start to her collegiate playing career, Goestenkors finds herself set to be inducted into the inaugural class of her alma mater's Cardinal Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 17.
"I'm very proud, and very humbled, because I was never even the best player on our team," said Goestenkors, now the head women's basketball coach at Texas. "I do think I helped our teams become great, so it's just a huge honor to be recognized in this way."
Goestenkors enjoyed great individual and team accomplishments during her four-year career with the Cardinal. During her career as a player, Saginaw Valley State registered a 114-13 record. Goestenkors' career statistics are equally impressive, including playing in 126 games, scoring 1,158 points and posting 469 assists and 348 steals.
A two-time NAIA All-American, Goestenkors led SVSU to a third-place finish during her junior season and an NAIA National runner-up finish in her senior campaign. As a senior, she also garnered 1985 "Most Valuable Player" honors for the Great Lakes Invitational Conference Association.
Goestenkors' success in women's basketball continued to manifest itself as she transitioned into her career as a coach. She served as a graduate assistant at Iowa State from 1985-86, then spent six years as an assistant coach for the Purdue women's basketball team.
In 1992, she took over as head coach at Duke, becoming the youngest head coach at a major Division I program at the age of 29. During her tenure, Goestenkors led the Blue Devils to 13-consecutive NCAA Championship appearances and four Final Fours.
After joining the Texas Women's Basketball program as head coach in 2007, she has led the Longhorns to three NCAA Tournament appearances in as many years.
A strong work ethic and intense dedication to the game she loves have guided Goestenkors from walk-on player to accomplished head coach. Now, Goestenkors can add induction into Saginaw Valley State University Athletics Hall of Fame to her long list of successes in collegiate women's basketball.
"My knowledge of the game, my willingness to do whatever it took to help the team win and my passion were probably my greatest strengths," Goestenkors said. " I tried to make our team better, whatever it took."