March 4, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw is one of 10 finalists named by Associated Press for its coach-of-the-year honors, while sophomore Ruth Riley is one of 10 finalists for AP national player-of-the-year award.
McGraw, also one of 15 finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, has guided the Irish to its best start in school history at 25-4 and has had her team in the top 10 of the both the Associated Press and USA Today /ESPN polls for a school-record 14 consecutive weeks. Notre Dame, which advanced to the championship of the BIG EAST tournament for the third time in four seasons, has had 20-wins seasons each of the last six campaigns. During her tenure, McGraw’s Notre Dame teams have averaged 21.8 wins per season.
Other finalists named for the award are: Geno Auriemma (Connecticut), Kathi Bennett (Evansville), Tom Collen (Colorado State), Gail Gostenkors (Duke), Bonnie Henrickson (Virginia Tech), Wendy Larry (Old Dominion), Carolyn Peck (Purdue), C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers) and Pat Summitt (Tennessee). Riley, the 1999 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, is Notre Dame leading scorer and rebounder averaging 16.5 points and 8.4 rebounds. The three-time BIG EAST player-of-the-week honoree, has set three Notre Dame marks this season – career blocked shots (168), blocks in a single-season (97) and points in a game (41 vs. Providence on January 30). She also tied the Notre Dame single-game shot blocked mark with eight against Duke on November 21. Riley was named to the BIG EAST all-tournament team after leading her team to a runner-up finish and scored 26 points in the championship finale against Connecticut.
Named along with Riley as finalists for player-of-the-year honors are: Dominique Canty (Alabama), Tamika Catchings (Tennessee), Becky Hammon (Colorado State), Chamique Holdsclaw (Tennessee), Dalma Ivanyi (Florida International), Michele Van Gorp (Duke), Stephanie White-McCarty (Purdue), Amanda Wilson (Louisiana Tech) and Tamika Whitemore (Memphis).