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March 1, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Penn State Lady Lion head coach Coquese Washington has been named to the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Coach of the Year watch list. She is one of 10 coaches on the list, including her former mentor Muffet McGraw from Notre Dame.
Washington was recently named Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading Penn State to its first regular-season title since 2004. The Lady Lions started conference play 1-2, but rallied to win 12 of their next 13 games to claim the regular-season crown. Penn State's 13 Big Ten wins are the most since the 2004-05 campaign and PSU's 10 road wins this year are the most for the Lady Lions since 1993-94. Penn State has been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 all season and is currently ranked ninth, the highest ranking since the 2003-04 campaign.
The Lady Lions have increased their Big Ten win total in each of Washington's five seasons in Happy Valley. The Lady Lions led all teams in scoring (74.8 ppg) for the first time since the 2002-03 squad averaged 74.6 points in 16 conference games. Penn State also won the Big Ten title for rebounding margin (+6.1) for the first time since 1998-99 (+5.1).
In addition to Washington and McGraw, the USBWA watch list includes Princeton's Courtney Banghart, Delaware's Tina Martin, St. Bonaventure's Jim Crowley, Duke's Joanne McCallie, Baylor's Kim Mulkey, St. John's Kim Barnes Arico, Kentucky's Matthew Mitchell and Stanford's Tara VanDerveer.
The announcement of the winner will come at the annual USBWA breakfast at the NCAA Women's Final Four on Tues., April 3, in Denver. The event is open to all credentialed Final Four media with limited availability to others interested in attending the event.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected a women's All-America team since the 1996-97 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-444-4300.
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