March 14, 2018
ATLANTA – On Wednesday morning, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the four finalists for the 2018 Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year award with Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw making the final ballot. She is joined by UConn’s Geno Auriemma, Oregon’s Kelly Graves and Mississippi State’s Vic Schaefer.
Coach McGraw is a three-time winner of the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year award, previously earning the accolade in 2001, 2013 and 2014.
This year is proving to be one of the best in Coach McGraw’s illustrious Hall of Fame career. In fact, already, Coach McGraw has been dubbed Coach of the Year by both USA Today and espnW.
Despite the injury obstacles and adversity faced, the goal never wavered from eying a national title. The Irish, through it all, went 29-3 on the nation’s No. 1 strength of schedule, ultimately earning their eighth No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship in program history.
Notre Dame knocked off nine top-25 ranked teams along the way, including three in the top-10 in South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida State. All-in-all, the Irish picked up 15 RPI top-50 victories, which ties UConn for the most in the country. The Irish also went 15-1 in the nation’s No. 1 RPI rated conference, securing their fifth straight ACC regular season title.
Once again this year, the fans will have a say in determining the winner. Between March 19-30, fans can visit www.naismithtrophy.com/vote to cast their ballot for one of the four finalists. Voting ends at 6 p.m. ET on March 30, and fans are limited to one vote per day. Lastly, the fan vote will account for five percent of the total vote.
The 2018 Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year will be announced on Saturday, March 31.
— ND —