May 12, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Angie Potthoff, a former All-America forward at Penn State University and three-year pro basketball veteran, has been named an assistant women’s basketball coach at Notre Dame, head coach Muffet McGraw announced Thursday. Potthoff has spent the past six years in the high school and college coaching ranks and comes to Notre Dame following one season as the head girls’ basketball coach at Beaver (Pa.) Area High School. Potthoff replaces Carol Owens, who left Notre Dame in March following a 10-year tenure to become the head women’s basketball coach at her alma mater, Northern Illinois University.
“Angie spent her entire playing career at the highest level, both in college and the pros,” McGraw said. “Having a former post player with that kind of experience will only make us better. She’s a hard-nosed, driven competitor who has a great desire to be successful, and that’s what makes a great coach. I’m thrilled to have her joining our staff because she can help us across the board in so many ways.”
“I’m very excited to work, not only with a tremendous coach in Muffet McGraw, but also in an outstanding program and University,” Potthoff said. “I look forward to the challenge of working with such a successful program and helping take us to another level in that success.”
Potthoff spent a total of three years at Beaver Area High School, the first two as an assistant girls’ basketball coach before elevating to the head coaching post for the 2004-05 season. In her three years at the school, the Bobcats logged a 38-36 record and twice advanced to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Class 3A playoffs, finishing as one of the top 32 teams in the state.
Prior to arriving at BAHS, Potthoff spent two seasons (2000-02) as an assistant coach at Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Pa. While there, she worked primarily with the Colonials’ post players, and also helped coordinate the team’s recruiting, scouting and game scheduling efforts. Potthoff began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at Indiana (Pa.) University in 1999-2000, aiding the Indians to a 24-5 record (the second-highest win total in school history), a school-record No. 4 national ranking during the season, and a trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs, where only a double-overtime loss kept IUP from advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight. That season, Potthoff worked closely with the Indians’ 6-foot-5 center, Melissa McGill, who led the team in scoring (13.6 ppg.), rebounding (8.2 rpg.) and blocked shots (a school-record 69) en route to earning WBCA all-district honors.
Angie Potthoff was a two-time Kodak/WBCA All-American and three-time Associated Press All-American while leading Penn State to two Big Ten titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a berth in the Elite Eight in 1994. (photo provided by Penn State University)
Potthoff is perhaps best known as a standout post player at Penn State, where she led the Nittany Lions to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including two Sweet Sixteen trips and a berth in the 1994 regional final. While at PSU, Potthoff was a two-time Kodak/WBCA honorable mention All-American (1996, 1997), while also garnering three All-America nods from the Associated Press (third team in 1996; honorable mention in 1995 & 1997). She was a three-time first-team all-Big Ten Conference selection (1995-97) and was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team in 1995 and 1996, picking up Most Valuable Player honors in the latter season after sparking Penn State to its second consecutive Big Ten Tournament title.
In each of her final three seasons at Penn State, Potthoff led the Nittany Lions in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage, winning a share of the Big Ten scoring title and finishing second in rebounding in 1997. To this day, she still remains among the top six on PSU’s career lists for scoring (6th – 1,725 points/15.5 ppg.), rebounding (5th – 918/8.3 rpg.), field goal percentage (1st – .574/709-1,235) and double-doubles (2nd – 47).
A native of Erie, Pa., Potthoff graduated from Penn State in 1997 with a bachelor of science degree in Exercise and Sport Science.
“We’re really excited for Angie,” Penn State head coach Rene Portland said. “This is a great situation for her to be involved in, joining a national program with such great tradition. She will learn a tremendous amount working under Muffet and we wish her all the best.”
Angie Potthoff played professionally for three seasons in both the ABL and WNBA, winning an ABL title in 1998 with the Columbus Quest and later starting the first game in the history of the Minnesota Lynx. (photo provided by NBA Photos/Getty Images/Minnesota Lynx)
Potthoff also spent three seasons playing professionally in the United States. In 1997, she was a second-round draft pick (No. 12 overall) by the Columbus Quest of the American Basketball League (ABL). There, she averaged 6.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game as the Quest won their second consecutive ABL championship in 1998 before the league folded midway through the 1998-99 campaign. The following summer, Potthoff was selected in the fourth round (49th overall) of the WNBA Draft by the expansion Minnesota Lynx. She cracked the starting lineup for the first game in franchise history, going on to average 4.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game that season before electing to retire as an active player and begin her coaching career.
In addition to her college and professional experience, Potthoff also has competed on an international level. In 1997, she was named to the U.S. World University Games, where she averaged 6.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and helped Team USA win the gold medal with a perfect 6-0 record. Ironically, one of her teammates on the squad was former Notre Dame All-America standout and the school’s all-time leading scorer, Beth Morgan. The U.S. team also was piloted by one of McGraw’s coaching mentors, current Ohio State skipper Jim Foster.
Potthoff will join a Notre Dame program that has posted 12 consecutive 20-win seasons (one of only six programs in the country that can make that claim) and has reached the NCAA Tournament 12 times, including each of the past 10 years. The Irish registered a 27-6 mark in 2004-05, matching the third-highest win total in school history, and wound up ranked 11th in the final Associated Press poll and 15th in the year-end ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll. Notre Dame will have nine returning monogram winners next season, along with two talented incoming freshmen — guard Lindsay Schrader (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett HS) and forward Chandrica Smith (Stone Mountain, Ga./Oak Hill Academy (Va.)) — who comprise the nation’s 16th-rated recruiting class, according to Blue Star Index.
— ND —