ATLANTA, Ga. – The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced the eight 2014 Russell Athletic/WBCA NCAA Division I Regional Coaches of the Year Wednesday. Head Coach Ryun Williams received the award for Region 7, and is a candidate for the national coach of the year award announced on April 7.
Williams led the Rams from 11-19 (.367) in his first season at Colorado State to 25-8 (.758) this year. That improvement ranks as the third-best turnaround in the country, when factoring increase in winning percentage among teams with at least 20 wins this season.
Tasked with refining what has been nearly a decade of sub-par results, Williams brought eight new faces to the Rams’ 2013-14 roster in his second season at the helm. The team quickly realized it had an irrefutable chemistry, which resulted in eight- and 10-game win streaks, totaling 17 wins in 18 games, skyrocketing them to the top of the Mountain West standings and their first regular-season championship in 12 years.
The Rams, who were picked to finish seventh in Mountain West preseason poll, more than doubled their win total from last season, producing the best record in 13 years, and the third-most victories in program history.
The team earned a program-record 10 all-conference awards to six players, in addition to a MW Coach of the Year nod for the second-year coach. The Rams also received their first postseason invitation in 10 years, with a trip to the WNIT.
2014 Regional Coaches of the Year:
Region 1 – Geno Auriemma, University of Connecticut
Region 2 – Muffet McGraw, University of Notre Dame
Region 3 – Dawn Staley, University of South Carolina, Columbia
Region 4 – Jennifer Roos, Bowling Green State University
Region 5 – Kim Mulkey, Baylor University
Region 6 – Curt Miller, Indiana University
Region 7 – Ryun Williams, Colorado State University
Region 8 – Scott Rueck, Oregon State University
The regional winners were selected by their D-I peers. A selection committee of coaches from each region will determine the national winner. The 2014 Russell Athletic/WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year (the Pat Summitt Trophy) will be awarded at the WBCA Awards Show on April 7, at the Omni Nashville Hotel.
This is the second regional coaching honor for Colorado State. Former head coach Greg Williams won the award in 1996 after leading his team to the program’s first-ever conference championship and postseason berth with a 26-5 record.