Lady Tigers first-year coach also SEC honoree

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Pokey Chatman, LSU's first-year women's basketball coach, was named one of 20 finalists for the 2004-05

Naismith National Coach of the Year, it was announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Thursday.

Chatman, who earlier in the week was named the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, led LSU (27-1, 14-0 ) to the school's

best regular-season record and the program's first SEC regular season title.

The list of 20 finalists was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country.

The board based its criteria on coaching performances this season.

Joining Chatman on the list of finalists are UConn's Geno Auriemma, Minnesota's Pam Borton, DePaul's Doug Bruno, Iowa State's Bill Fennelly, Ohio State's Jim Foster, Maryland's Brenda Frese, Duke's Gail Goestenkors, North Carolina's Sylvia Hatchell, Boston College's Cathy Inglese, Michigan State's Joanne Palombo-McCallie, Kansas State's Deb Patterson, Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw, Baylor's Kim Mulkey-Robertson, Florida State's Sue Semrau, Texas Tech's
Marsha Sharp, Temple's Dawn Staley, Rutgers' C. Vivian Stringer, Tennessee's Pat Summitt and Stanford's Tara VanDerveer.

The winner will be recognized at the Naismith Awards Banquet on April 8 in Atlanta.