Head Coach Gail Goestenkors
Second season at Texas
In one short year at The University of Texas, Gail Goestenkors put her nationally-acclaimed stamp on the Longhorns program, directing the young Texas team to the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament and demonstrating her prowess for building a national-championship program.
In Goestenkors, 45, Texas Women's Basketball has found a passionate, talented and highly-successful coach at both the NCAA Division I and international (USA Basketball and Olympic) coaching levels.
The 2007-08 Longhorns returned to the NCAA tourney after a two-year absence and were one of the hottest teams in the nation down the stretch of the season. Going 22-13, the Longhorns were led by three All-Big 12 Conference players in sophomore guard Brittainey Raven, junior post Ashley Lindsey and junior point guard Carla Cortijo.
Goestenkors also is recognized as one of the rising stars in USA Basketball coaching. Currently serving as an assistant coach with the USA National Team, Coach G will make her second consecutive trip to the Olympics when she travels to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Goestenkors was an assistant on the USA coaching staff when the Americans earned the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Goestenkors was the youngest head coach at a major Division I program (29) when she took over the reigns of the Duke University program in 1992. Since then, she has built a coaching resume which includes an overall record of 418-112 (.790 winning percentage). She ranks No. 4 among active Division I coaches in winning percentage and stands No. 5 among all-time Division I coaches in winning percentage. This past November, she also became the fourth-fastest Division I women's basketball coach to register 400 career wins.
When the illustrious 31-year career of UT basketball coach Jody Conradt came to a close in March of 2007, there indeed was one best fit, one perfect choice, to carry on the proud tradition of Texas Basketball and re-create a championship program -- Gail Goestenkors.
And, with her hiring on April 5, 2007 as just the third women's basketball coach in Texas history, Gail Goestenkors truly opened a new and exciting chapter in her championship coaching career.
Goestenkors came to Texas after a remarkable and distinguished 15-year tenure at Duke University, which was her first and only collegiate head coaching job. This tenure saw Goestenkors develop a fledgling Blue Devil program and build it into a consistent national championship contender.
For her efforts, Goestenkors received a remarkable 12 National Coach of the Year awards over the last eight years.
Goestenkors directed the Duke program from 1992-93 through the 2006-07 season, leading the Blue Devils to 13 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances. Duke advanced to four NCAA Final Four berths over the last nine seasons, playing in the national semifinals in 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2006 while making two NCAA championship game appearances (1999, 2006).
A noted recruiter, Goestenkors also had national top-five recruiting classes from 1999-2005 and again in 2007.
With Goestenkors at the helm, Duke produced an unprecedented seven consecutive 30-win seasons from 2000-01 to 2006-07.
With 13 consecutive NCAA Championship showings under Goestenkors, the Duke program had a remarkable record of success in postseason play. Goestenkors' charges advanced to the NCAA title game twice and to the NCAA Final Four a total of four times; had three additional Elite Eight showings (1998, 2004, 2005); and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2000, 2001 and 2007.
In addition to her collegiate coaching accolades, Goestenkors brings an impressive international coaching resume to The University of Texas.
With a long-time commitment to USA Basketball, Goestenkors has successfully served in numerous coaching capacities with the organization. Currently, she is assistant coach of the 2007 Senior National Team, which qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics on September 30 by winning the FIBA Americas Championship in Valdivia, Chile.
The 2008 Olympics mark the second consecutive Olympic Games that Goestenkors will coach at, following her gold medal experience as an assistant with the 2004 USA Olympic team which captured first-place honors in Athens.
In addition, Goestenkors has helped USA Basketball teams earn three other gold medals - one as assistant coach with the World Championship Team (2002), and the other two as USA head coach of the 2005 Under 19 World Championship squad and the 2005 World University Games team.
After building a standard of excellence at Duke and firmly establishing a basketball legacy, both nationally and internationally, it was fitting that Goestenkors turn her attentions to The University of Texas to build yet another legacy and follow one of the greatest ambassadors in the game of basketball - Jody Conradt - who herself built a 31-year tradition of excellence at UT.
Conradt, who retired on March 12, 2007 after 38 years as collegiate head coach, the final 31 as Texas Basketball mentor, ranks No. 2 in all-time men's or women's basketball coaching victories (record of 900-307).
Goestenkors began leading Duke from relative obscurity to national prominence immediately when hired in 1992.
In total at Duke, Goestenkors had six more winning seasons (14) than there were in the 17 years prior to her arrival in Durham. Goestenkors led the Blue Devils to their first appearances in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four and National Championship game and to the program's first-ever ACC tourney titles.
Under her guidance, Duke also earned eight ACC regular season championships (1998, 1999, 2001-2005, 2007) and five ACC tournament crowns from 2000-2004.
In ACC games, Goestenkors compiled an impressive a 76.5 winning percentage (179-55), a percentage which is higher than any men's and women's coach in ACC history with a minimum of 200 games coached.
Goestenkors immediately established winning ways in her first few years at Duke. The 1992-93 squad, which featured only eight healthy players, broke four program records during the course of the season. Great strides were taken in Coach G's second season, as Duke finished 16-11 in 1993-94, the program's first winning season since 1990-91. Also, the Blue Devils won seven ACC contests, the most wins by the school in nearly a decade.
In year three, Goestenkors' Blue Devils emerged on the national scene. At the time, the 1994-95 Blue Devils set school records for most wins in a season (22) and ACC victories (10). After Duke's first ever appearance in the ACC Championship game, the Blue Devils appeared in the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in program history. Duke defeated Oklahoma State in the opening round before losing a heartbreaking second-round game to Alabama (a 121-120 final and the only quadruple overtime game in NCAA women's basketball history).
The Blue Devils and Goestenkors were recognized for their breakthrough year.
Duke earned its first national ranking since 1989, while Goestenkors was named 1995 WBCA District III Coach of the Year.
And, Goestenkors continued to build on this early success.
Her final year at Duke (2006-07) was testament to her leadership and success track, as Coach G. led the Blue Devils to a 32-2 record and to the No. 1 national ranking in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN final regular season polls. This marked the fifth consecutive year that Duke gained a No. 1 national ranking.
That 30-plus win season also marked the seventh straight year that the Blue Devils registered a 30-win season, setting the NCAA record for consecutive 30-win seasons. Duke had shared that mark with Louisiana Tech as the only teams in NCAA history to log six consecutive 30-win campaigns.
At season's end, Goestenkors was the recipient of five 2006-07 National Coach of the Year honors (Naismith Award, Russell Athletic/WBCA, Associated Press, United States Basketball Writers Association, and ESPN.com).
En route, Duke went 29-0 in regular season action, including a perfect 14-0 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play to become the first ACC team and only the 14th in NCAA history to finish the regular season undefeated. It was Duke's third undefeated conference season in school history. Yet, the Blue Devils' drive to the Final Four for a second straight season was cut short, as they finished the year at the NCAA Sweet 16, losing in heart-breaking fashion, 53-52, to eventual NCAA runnerup Rutgers at the Greensboro Regional on March 24.
In 2005-06, Goestenkors had led Duke to its fourth NCAA Final Four and to its second National Championship game appearance. The Blue Devils posted 31-4 overall and 12-2 league marks on the year, which marked the sixth straight season with 30 or more victories, and earned a No. 1 national ranking for the fourth straight year. Duke also tied its own NCAA record for blocks with 267 in back- to-back seasons.
Goestenkors' 2004-05 Blue Devils, losing three starters from the previous year's 30-4 Elite Eight team, set the stage for the 2005-06 campaign, turning in a wonderful performance - earning the program's fifth-straight ACC regular season title en route to another NCAA Elite Eight appearance. The Blue Devils concluded 2004-05 with a 31-5 mark and were ranked No. 1 in the nation for three straight weeks. Duke also set an NCAA record for blocked shots (267) on the year.
In 2003-04, the Goestenkors-led Blue Devils went to the NCAA Elite Eight after posting a fifth-straight ACC tourney title and fourth-straight ACC regular season crown. Goestenkors earned ACC Coach of the Year honors for the sixth time. The Blue Devils Duke was ranked No. 1 in the nation for five weeks and broke Connecticut's 69-game home winning streak with a 68-67 victory in Hartford, Conn.
The success that Goestenkors was bringing to the Duke campus was evidenced by a dramatic rise in home attendance, with Duke averaging a school-record 6,237 per game in 2003-04.
All this success followed the performance of the 2001-02 and 2002-03 teams which Goestenkors led to back-to-back Final Four showings.
Her 2001-02 squad caught the nation's attention early on, as Duke and Goestenkors compiled a great 31-4 run with just eight players, following the mid-season transfer of two others. Duke became the first ACC school to produce an undefeated conference record (going 19-0) by sweeping the regular season and tournament titles. The Blue Devils broke 24 school records, sophomore guard Alana Beard and sophomore forward Iciss Tillis gained All-America honors, and Coach G was selected GBallmag.com National Coach of the Year.
Goestenkors then led her 2002-03 squad to an ACC-record 35 wins (35-2) and again to a sweep of the ACC regular season and tourney crowns (19-0) with Beard gaining two National Player of the Year honors - a first for Duke Basketball.
Once again, Goestenkors received National Coach of the Year accolades earning Naismith, WBCA/Rawlings and Victor Award honors. The Blue Devils earned the school's first No. 1 national ranking. Tabbed No. 1 for the first 12 weeks of the season, Duke was ranked no lower than second for the entire year in the Associated Press poll.
Goestenkors' charges had built up to these Final Four appearances by leading the 2000-01 and 1999-00 teams to the program's first two ACC tourney titles and to a No. 1 NCAA seed in 2001.
The 1999-00 squad, picked to finish fourth in the ACC, went on to finish 28-6 despite losing three All-ACC starters to graduation and another, Peppi Browne, to injury halfway through the season. In one of her finest coaching jobs ever, Goestenkors regrouped her charges, peaked at No. 2 in the polls at the end of the regular season, and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, During the season the Blue Devils recorded a 16-game winning streak, a 15-1 ACC record, and 11 wins over ranked opponents, all school records at the time. At season's end, Coach G earned Basketball Times National Coach of the Year plaudits.
A year later, the 2000-01 Blue Devils went 30-4, winning both ACC crowns and grabbing a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship. This marked the first time in school history the Blue Devils won both the ACC regular season and tournament titles in the same season. Senior Georgia Schweitzer and freshman Alana Beard earned All-America accolades, while Schweitzer captured her second consecutive ACC Player of the Year award.
Most impressive, Goestenkors and her team accomplished all this with five freshmen on the roster, a testament to Goestenkors' coaching ability.
During 2000-01, Goestenkors also won her 200th career game with the Blue Devils, becoming the third fastest ACC coach in history to reach that mark. Additionally, the Duke fans recognized the winning ways of the program, and Duke's attendance figures nearly doubled as almost 4,500 Blue Devil fans came to Cameron Indoor Stadium for each game.
The year prior (1998-99), with a veteran-laden team, Goestenkors led Duke to its first-ever NCAA Final Four showing. After beating three-time defending national champion Tennessee to capture the NCAA East Regional title, Duke advanced to its inaugural Final Four, knocking off Georgia in the semifinals en route to a championship matchup with Purdue. Another Duke first that year were the selection of its first Kodak All-American (post Michele VanGorp), who also became the first Blue Devil to play in the WNBA as a member of the New York Liberty.
The respect and admiration for the way Goestenkors built a tradition of success at Duke led to her selection to the USA Basketball Collegiate Committee in the summer of 2001. That jumpstarted Goestenkors coaching at the USA elite level.
In recognition of her coaching successes and USA Basketball commitments, Goestenkors was honored with the 2005-06 Carol Eckman Award from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The Eckman Award which is presented annually to an active WBCA coach who exemplifies Eckman's spirit, integrity and character through sportsmanship, commitment to the student-athlete, honesty, ethical behavior, courage and dedication to purpose.
That same year, Goestenkors was also named USA Basketball Coach of the Year for guiding the U19 World Championship team to the gold medal.
The drive and passion for excellence has always been with Goestenkors, dating back to her days as a collegiate player.
A native of Waterford, Michigan, Goestenkors attended Saginaw Valley State where she played for former Purdue head coach Marsha Reall. In her four years at Saginaw, Goestenkors earned NAIA All-America honors, was named conference MVP, and was selected to the Academic All-Conference Team.
Goestenkors led her team to a 114-13 overall record, along with a second-place, a third-place and two quarterfinal finishes at the NAIA National Championships. In the career charts at Saginaw Valley State, Goestenkors ranks second in steals (348), assists (469) and games played
After earning a physical education degree from Saginaw Valley State in 1985, Goestenkors served as a Iowa State graduate assistant for Iowa State during 1985-86. From there, Goestenkors moved to the Big Ten Conference and Purdue, where she would spend the next six years as an assistant coach.
Under head coach Lin Dunn, Goestenkors helped Purdue emerge as a national powerhouse in women's college basketball. Goestenkors specialized in recruiting some of the nation's best talent for Purdue as the Boilermakers went 135-42 during her tenure, with five consecutive 20-win seasons and five NCAA Tournament berths. This included two Sweet Sixteen appearances, along with Purdue's first Big Ten Championship in 1991. That season, the Boilermakers were ranked third in the nation in the Associated Press final poll.
In addition to her collegiate and USA Basketball responsibilities, Coach G is active in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors and has been a member of the WBCA/Kodak All-America selection committee in the past.
Goestenkors is active in the "Coaches vs. Cancer" nation-wide initiative, and while in Raleigh, NC., was active as co-chair of the capital campaign for the Ronald McDonald House and was involved in the Durham Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, receiving the "Key Volunteer of the Year" honor.
Since arriving at UT, Goestenkors has established the "Coach G's Hook 'Em on Reading" program with The University's Neighborhood Longhorns program, an education incentive program operated in partnership with the Austin Independent School District (AISD) which serves disadvantaged youth in grades three through eight.