New Coaches, Pressures Transforming Big 12 Women's Basketball

Wednesday, October 17th 2007, 7:15 am
By: News On 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The dean of Big 12 Conference women's basketball coaches senses big changes coming into his profession.

Iowa State's Bill Fennelly said yesterday during Big 12 media day in Kansas City, Missouri, that there's a lot of money and pressure involved now. He says women's coaches no longer are immune to that.

This year's most headline-grabbing coaching change, in the nation as well as the Big 12, occurred when Jody Conradt, a pioneer in the sport who won 900 games, retired at Texas.

Taking her place is Gail Goestenkors, who went to four Final Fours and was 396-99 in 15 years at Duke, one of the nation's most prestigious basketball powers.

For a much-in-demand coach to gravitate to the Big 12 was only the continuation of a trend in recent years, however.

At Texas Tech, replacing Marsha Sharp after 24 seasons, is Kristy Curry. Her Purdue team in 2001 came within one victory of the NCAA title.

Now at Colorado is Kathy McConnell-Miller, the all-time winningest coach at Tulsa who stepped in after Ceal Barry's 22-year run.