June 20, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame head women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw announced Thursday that Carol Owens, a seven-year veteran on the Irish coaching staff, has been promoted to associate head coach.
“Carol has been a key part of our success over the last seven seasons,” McGraw said. “Her outstanding efforts in recruiting and developing players, as well as her loyalty, dedication and overall hard work make this a well-deserved promotion.”
“I’m really happy and elated to be named associate head coach at Notre Dame,” Owens said. “We have already achieved a great deal during my time here and I’m looking forward to helping us continue that success well into the future.”
A 1990 graduate of Northern Illinois University, Owens came to Notre Dame in 1995 following two years as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan. Her arrival coincided with the Notre Dame’s rise to national prominence over the last seven years, as the Irish have gone 183-47 (.796) during her stay, averaging better than 26 victories per season with at least 20 wins in each campaign. The Irish also have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in every year of Owens’ tenure, reaching the second round each time en route to four Sweet Sixteen appearances (1997, 1998, 2000, 2001), two Final Four berths (1997, 2001) and the school’s first NCAA championship in 2001.
In her role at Notre Dame, Owens’ main focus has been developing the Irish post players, several of whom have achieved tremendous success under her tutelage. Ruth Riley (1997-2001) capped off her Notre Dame career as the consensus national player-of-the-year, and she and Katryna Gaither (1993-97) both earned All-America recognition. Riley, Gaither and Kelley Siemon (1997-2001) all were drafted into the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) following their Notre Dame careers.
Three Irish sophomores-to-be also have already earned national recognition under Owens’ guidance. Last season, forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) was the United States Basketball Writers’ Association (USBWA) National Freshman of the Year, a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/Kodak honorable mention All-America selection, and was a unanimous choice as the BIG EAST Conference Rookie of the Year. Batteast also recently was named a preseason third-team All-America selection by Women’s College Hoops.com, and she is a finalist for the 2002 USA Basketball World Championship for Young Women Qualifying Team, after attending the USA Basketball National Team Trials last month with center Teresa Borton (Yakima, Wash./West Valley HS). In addition, their teammate and another Owens’ pupil, forward Katy Flecky (Lone Tree, Colo./Highlands Ranch HS), was named BIG EAST Rookie of the Week on Feb. 25.
Owens also has garnered a reputation as a top-notch recruiter. She has helped the Irish land six consecutive top-20 recruiting classes from 1997-2002, including the ’01-02 freshman corps, which was ranked third-best in the nation by the Blue Star Index, and next season’s rookie class, which is ranked eighth nationally by the same publication. In addition, Owens was named one of the top five assistant coaches in the country by Women’s Basketball Journal in 2001.
— ND —