ATLANTA - The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today the finalists for the 2014 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award, which honors a WBCA Division I head coach who has led his or her team to a successful season during his or her first year at the helm. Among the finalists are Duquesne's Dan Burt. He joins Bunky Harkleroad (Cal State Sacramento), Billi Godsey (Iona), Mike Neighbors (Washington) and Megan Gebbia (American).
"All of our successes are attributed to the support our University President Charles Dougherty and Athletic Director Greg Amodio give the women's basketball program," said Burt. "I am thankful every day to be a part of such a great academic institution."
"The success of our day-to-day operations of our program are a result of hard work, skills and talent of our coaching staff - Eddie Benton, Matt Schmidt, Rachel Wojdowski, Cherie Lea, Jade Singleton and Marissa Manko. Their input and knowledge is invaluable for the continued success of our program," added Burt.
"Our student-athletes are the ones who truly make this recognition possible. Their sacrifices and drive are the reason Duquesne is so special," said Burt.
In his first year as head coach at Duquesne, Burt led the Dukes to 20 wins (10 in the Atlantic 10 Conference) and to the 2nd Round of the WNIT. Additionally, he coach a pair of A-10 All-Conference players in Wumi Agunbiade and Raegan Moore.
"All of these coaches have done a terrific job making an immediate impact at their institution. They will continue to make a difference in the coaching ranks, as well as with the student-athletes they deal with day in and day out," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "I wish these coaches the best of luck at the WBCA Awards Show." "We are privileged to once again honor the memory of Maggie Dixon while recognizing the best rookie coach in Division I women's basketball," said Paul Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Spalding US. "Maggie will always be a shining example to so many who share a love for the game. Congratulations to this year's finalists for the Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year."The Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year award is presented in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, former Army head coach, whose success during her inaugural year at the Army helm was remarkable. The Black Knights won the Patriot League title in 2006 and Dixon was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year after leading Army to the NCAA Tournament for the first time at the NCAA Division I level. Coach Dixon passed away on April 6, 2006, just a few weeks following the Black Knights' appearance in the NCAA Tournament.