::Duke Women's Coach Leaving For Texas
From Staff And Wire Reports
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
DURHAM - Highly successful Duke University Women's Basketball Coach Gail Goestenkors announced yesterday that she would be leaving to coach at the University of Texas.
"I have talked with Gail repeatedly in the last few days and I know this was an extremely difficult decision for her, but ultimately the lure of a new challenge outweighed her many ties at Duke," said Duke University President Richard Brodhead in a media statement yesterday. "She is a great coach and a fine person, and we are grateful for everything she's accomplished at Duke...I join with Gail's many admirers at Duke in wishing her well."
Rumors had been circulating for a while that Goestenkors was thinking of taking a position at Texas and were strengthened when she paid a visit to the campus.
Duke officials seemed to determined to try and match any Texas offer, but evidently it was not enough to keep Goestenkors as the head coach of the Blue Devils. Some say that Texas offered more money, where the previous women's coach made over $500.000 per year.
"During the last week and throughout her entire time at Duke, we addressed everything that Gail requested in order to remain our coach for the duration of her career," said Duke Athletic Director Joe Alleva. "In the end, it came down to her seeking a new challenge at this stage in her career and her life."
Goestenkors has kept the Duke women's team in championship contention during her tenure as head coach. According to the Associated Press, she has had four Final Four appearances and twice the Blue Devils have played in the final championship game.
This year, she was voted as Coach of the Year by a coaches group for leading Duke to a #1 regular season ranking and a 32-2 record overall. The women Blue Devils' run at the NCAA title was cut short when the team was upset by Rutgers in the playoffs.
No replacement has yet been named at Duke for Goestenkors. Athletic Director Alleva said the selection process has already started.
"Given the success of our program, the talented student-athletes we have returning, the quality of our recruiting class, and a top-flight educational opportunity for young women, we are confident that we will attract a coach with excellent leadership skills who fits best into our mission as an athletic department," Alleva said on Tuesday. ::