As we wrap up another exciting D3 Women's Basketball regular season, it's time to take a look back at the year before we get to tourney time. So we want to hear from you. Which of these fine coaches is the best of the best? We brought together a group of seven fantastic candidates and we'll leave it up to you to decide.
The poll will close Thursday at noon Pacific, so be sure to get your vote in on time, and share with friends so they can vote as well.[divider]
Carla Berube, Tufts
BR-4 Tufts head coach Carla Berube was presented the Pat Summitt Trophy as the 2015 United States Marine Corps / Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year.
This is Berube’s 14th season at the end of the Jumbo’s bench, leading Tufts to their third straight undefeated New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) season. At the conclusion of the 2014-2015 season Berube was named the NESCAC Coach of the Year, her third time in four seasons – and fifth overall.
The Jumbos are 22-2 overall this season, and went 10-0 in the conference.
Marc Mitchell, FDU-Florham
Head coach Marc Mitchell is the winningest coach in BR-83 FDU-Florham program history with an overall record of 119-49 (.708). Last season, he navigated the Devils back to the NCAA Tournament for the third season in a row. as the team posted a 29-2 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight.
In the 2013-14 season, Mitchell led FDU-Florham to their first NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship and a perfect 33-0 record.
The Devils finished the 2015-2016 season 19-6 overall, and 11-3 in the MAC Freedom Conference, securing the No. 2 seed in this weekends conference tournament.
Nancy Fahey, Washington U-St. Louis
BR-5 Washington University head coach Nancy Fahey is the only coach in NCAA D3 history to win five national championships, including a stretch of four straight titles from 1998-2001. Fahey leads a program that owns the second-longest winning streak in NCAA women's basketball history at 81 games.
In 2012, Fahey become the first NCAA D3 representative to be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn. In her 29 seasons as Washington University’s head coach, In addition to Fahey guiding the Bears to a D3 best five national championships, she has also led the Bears to a D3-record 10 Final Four appearances.
With a single game remaining in the regular season, the Bears secured their third straight, and 22nd overall University Athletic Association championship last week with a victory over BR-43 New York University. Their record is currently 20-4 overall, and 11-2 in the UAA heading into their season finale’ at BR-35 Chicago.
Mia Smith, Illinois Wesleyan
In her 18 seasons at the helm of the BR-58 Illinois Wesleyan women’s basketball program, head coach Mia Smith is the all-time leader in victories for the Titans, having led IWU to the NCAA D3 Championship in 2011-12. Smith earned honors as the 2012 Russell Athletic/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association “National Coach of the Year’ for D3.
With a career record at IWU of 347-148, and a 183-69 conference record in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, Smith and the Titans have seven CCIW championships, including a share of this year’s title. She has coached the Titans to seven NCAA D3 tournament appearances – six straight from 2007-2012.
IWU is 16-9 overall this season, with an 11-3 CCIW record. They will square off in the CCIW Championship Tournament this weekend against No. 3 seed BR-57 North Central.
G.P. Gromacki, Amherst
In his nine years at BR-2 Amherst, head coach G.P.Gromacki has had little go wrong. With a career record of 395-60, his .868 winning percentage entering the 2015-16 campaign is the second highest among active coaches across all three NCAA divisions. Since joining Amherst, Gromacki is an incredible 256-23 (.917).
Gromacki's 2007-08 debut season featured a 27-3 record and brought Amherst its first-ever NESCAC title and NCAA Championship appearance. Since that time, the Purple & White have captured the NESCAC tournament title four times, and either won or had a share of the regular season crown five times.
With just a single loss in 25 games this season – that to conference foe BR-3 Tufts, Amherst earned the No. 2 seed in the NESCAC Tournament. Gromacki and the Purple & White will be hoping for revenge in a championship final showdown with the Jumbos.
Michael Meek, George Fox
After being named the D3hoops.com NCAA D3 National Coach of the Year, BR-11 George Fox head coach Michael Meek became the fastest coach in George Fox history to reach 100 wins – accomplishing the feat in just a five year span. With his sixth regular season in the books, a second-consecutive perfect 25 win run, Meek’s record at the end of the Bruin bench is an amazing 155-20. He entered the season third among coaches in all-Divisions in winning percentage.
The undefeated Bruins host the No. 4 seed BR-87 Whitworth in the Northwest Conference Championship this week.
Jeff Hans, Thomas More
In just four seasons on the sidelines in Crestview Hills, Hans has guided BR-1 Thomas More to a 116-8 record (.935), four Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) regular season and tournament titles and four NCAA Tournament appearances, including an NCAA D3 National Championship last season.
The defending champions are once again undefeated heading into the post-season, and will be hosting the Presidents Athletic Conference Tournament championships this weekend.