ATLANTA – Sacramento State women's basketball head coach Bunky Harkleroad is one of five finalists selected for the 2014 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award, which honors a Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division I head coach who has led his or her team to a successful season during his or her first year at the helm.
The finalists are:
Dan Burt, Duquesne University
Bunky Harkleroad, Sacramento State
Billi Godsey, Iona College
Mike Neighbors, University of Washington
Megan Gebbia, American University
The winner will be honored during the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday, April 7, in the Omni Nashville Hotel's Broadway Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention, which is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four®.
Harkleroad came to Sacramento State less than a month before the start of the 2013-14 season after he was hired to replace former head coach Jamie Craighead. Harkleroad had served as the head coach at Glenville State College (WV) for four years after nine seasons as the head coach at Berea College (KY), his alma mater.
Harkleroad led the Hornets to a school record 11-1 start with a nine-game winning streak as Sacramento State qualified for the Big Sky Tournament and finished the season at 18-12. The squad broke the NCAA single-season record for three-pointers made and attempted and led the nation in steals per game while also ranking highly in points per game and turnover margin.
"All of these coaches have done a terrific job making an immediate impact at their institution. They will continue to make a difference in the coaching ranks, as well as with the student-athletes they deal with day in and day out," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "I wish these coaches the best of luck at the WBCA Awards Show."
The Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year award is presented in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, former Army head coach, whose success during her inaugural year at the Army helm was remarkable. The Black Knights won the Patriot League title in 2006 and Dixon was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year after leading Army to the NCAA Tournament for the first time at the NCAA Division I level. Coach Dixon passed away on April 6, 2006, just a few weeks following the Black Knights' appearance in the NCAA Tournament.