The sad, but timely, departure of Jody Conradt triggered a wave of speculation about what kind of coach would be brought in to fill her enormous shoes. Before we even begin to discuss the woman Texas hired, let's take a moment to applaud Jody Conradt for her many impressive accomplishments at Texas, including the way she resigned with class, dignity, and aplomb. Coach Conradt - you're a Texas legend.
The band must play on, though, and Texas fans received word yesterday that Duke head coach Gail Goestenkors has been hired as Conradt's replacement. Aside from having a last name that's hard to type (she's Coach G from now on), what do we know about her?
During her fourteen year tenure at Duke, Coach G elevated a Duke women's basketball program from relative obscurity to national prominence. Under her watch, the Blue Devils won more games than they lost 13 times. Thirteen of fourteen winning seasons is impressive in its own right, but even more so when you consider the Lady Blue Devils had a winning record only eight times in their history before Coach G came to campus.
She was the ACC Coach of the Year six times during her tenure, becoming only the second ACC women's basketball coach in history to win the award that many times. She led Duke to their first ever Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four, and National Championship game. In 2006-07, she led Duke to its seventh straight 30-win season, an NCAA record.
Whether or not you enjoy women's basketball or not, we're all Texas Longhorns fans here, and given what Jody Conradt has meant to this university's athletics department, I'm certainly glad that Chris Plonsky hired someone who's guaranteed to return the program back to the heights Longhorn women's basketball fans have become accustomed to.
Welcome to Austin, Coach G.