Boyle says Cal's a 'gold mine waiting to happen'

Updated: April 16, 2005, 3:11 PM ET
Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Joanne Boyle signed a five-year contract Friday to become the new coach at California, ending her successful tenure at Richmond.

Boyle guided the Spiders to three straight 20-win seasons and their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 14 years this past season. The Spiders finished with a 12-4 record in the Atlantic 10, their best mark in the four years since they joined the conference. In January, the program received its first-ever national ranking -- No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

The Philadelphia native recorded a 67-29 mark (.698) in three seasons in Richmond. In addition to the 2005 NCAA Tournament, she led the Spiders to the WNIT quarterfinals in 2003 (21-11) and to the WNIT semifinals in 2004 (23-10). Her 2003-04 team paced the conference in six statistical categories, and at 17.9 assists per game, Richmond ranked 10th in the nation.

Boyle replaces Caren Horstmeyer, who was fired March 16 after five seasons.

"[Boyle] has clearly demonstrated that she understands what it takes to build and sustain a women's basketball program that will compete with the nation's elite programs,'' Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour said.

Horstmeyer, the Pac-10 coach of the year in 2003-04, went 52-91 in her five years with the Golden Bears. The team finished 11-18 with a 4-14 Pac-10 record this season.

"I'm excited about the possibility to build a nationally regarded program at Cal," Boyle said. "I couldn't ask for a better package -- a top 10 recruiting class, a beautiful campus and an athletic director who is committed to the women's basketball team becoming a national contender.

"The situation reminds me a lot of the potential at Duke when Gail Goestenkors took over 12 years ago. It's a gold mine waiting to happen. I couldn't ask for a better fit."

The Bears will be a young but talented squad next year, as they return eight letterwinners and welcome the No. 7-rated recruiting class in the country, according to Blue Star Index. Next season's incoming class features Oakland's Alexis Gray-Lawson and Devanei Hampton who were tabbed McDonald's All-Americans and second team Parade All-Americans.

Boyle also has a proven track record as a recruiter, inking Blue Star Index's 12th-ranked recruiting class in the country for 2005-06. Next year's Spiders' freshman class includes Crystal Goring, who was rated the No. 6 best player nationally by Blue Star and earned McDonald's and WBCA All-America honors.

Before accepting her first collegiate head coaching job at Richmond, Boyle was an integral part of Duke's rise to national prominence as an assistant coach for nine seasons. The season before Boyle's arrival in 1993-94, Duke compiled a 12-15 record and finished last in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Two seasons into her stint in Durham, N.C., the team notched 20-plus wins for the first time in 10 years and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

With Boyle on staff, Duke garnered eight straight NCAA Tournament berths, highlighted by appearances in the 1999 national championship game and the 2002 semifinals. The Blue Devils reached the 20-win plateau seven times, twice amassed at least 30 victories, were ranked in the Top 10 nationally four straight years, grabbed three regular-season ACC championships and advanced to the 1998 NCAA Elite Eight and to the 2000 and 2001 NCAA Sweet 16.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press