Washington coach Mike Neighbors led the Huskies to a third consecutive 20-win season and postseason berth, playing at UTEP on Monday in the WNIT quarterfinals. Neighbors led UW to upsets against No. 6 Stanford and No. 24 California in his first season of continuing the overhaul to return Washington (20-13) to a nationally respected women’s basketball program.
For that, and I’m sure some of his gutsy coaching moves this season as a first-time head coach on the college level, Neighbors is being considered for the 2014 Maggie Dixon D-I rookie coach of the year award.
Here’s more from the desk of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association:
WBCA announces finalists for
2014 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year
ATLANTA (March 31, 2014) – The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today the finalists for the 2014 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award, which honors a 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, California State University, Sacramento
- 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®.
“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.”
“We are privileged to once again honor the memory of Maggie Dixon while recognizing the best rookie coach in Division I women’s basketball,” said Paul Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Spalding US. “Maggie will always be a shining example to so many who share a love for the game. Congratulations to this year’s finalists for the Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year.”
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.