DURHAM, N.C. – For the seventh time in her 15 years at Duke, Gail Goestenkors has been tabbed the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Coach of the Year, by a vote of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA). Goestenkors received 44 of 55 votes and now is tied with Virginia’s Debbie Ryan for the most ACC Coach of the Year selections with seven.
A native of Waterford, Mich., Goestenkors also won the award in 1995-96, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04.
In her 15 years, Goestenkors has led Duke to a 393-97 record and is on pace to become the quickest ACC coach to register 400 wins. Goestenkors, a five-time National Coach of the Year, has led the Blue Devils to four NCAA Final Four appearances over the last eight years and five ACC Tournament crowns.
Goestenkors has done one of the best coaching jobs of her career in 2006-07 as the Blue Devils are ranked No. 1 nationally with a 29-0 overall record. Duke became the first ACC team and only the 14th in NCAA history to finish the regular season undefeated. The Blue Devils registered a 14-0 league mark to go undefeated for the third time in school history.
All this was done after Duke lost three key seniors-- Monique Currie, Mistie Williams and Jessica Foley-- off a team which lost in the National Championship game to Maryland, 78-75, in overtime. All three of the seniors are now playing professional basketball. Not only did the Blue Devils lose the seniors but they also have been without the services of Chante Black. The 6-5 junior was expected to start at power forward this season, but has been sidelined with a hyperextended right knee the entire season.
Duke is coming off collecting four players on the All-ACC team released on Monday. The Blue Devils had seniors Lindsey Harding and Alison Bales on the first team, sophomore Abby Waner on the second team and junior Wanisha Smith earned honorable mention accolades. Harding continues to rack up the hardware as she was also named ACC Player of the Year, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-ACC Defensive team.
The Blue Devils hold the No. 1 seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament and will open play Friday at 3 p.m. against the winner of Thursday’s Virginia vs. Clemson match-up. The game will be televised by the ACC’s Regional Sports Network.
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