Goestenkors wins Carol Eckman award

Updated: March 9, 2006, 6:55 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ATLANTA, Ga. -- The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) has named Duke coach Gail Goestenkors as this year's Carol Eckman award winner.

The honor is presented annually to "an active WBCA coach who exemplifies Eckman's spirit, integrity and character through sportsmanship, commitment to the student-athlete, honesty, ethical behavior, courage and dedication to purpose."

The award is named in honor of the late Carol Eckman, the former West Chester State College coach who is considered the "Mother of the Women's Collegiate Basketball Championship." Eckman organized the first women's basketball championship at West Chester in 1969 and continued to garner recognition and support for the women's game until her death from cancer in 1985.

"Gail proves to be among the best through her commitment to not only the game of basketball, but also to her student-athletes," said CEO Beth Bass. "She is the epitome of what the Carol Eckman award truly represents."

Goestenkors is currently in her 14th season at Duke after arriving in 1992. She has taken the Blue Devils to their first appearances in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen (eight straight appearances), Elite Eight (1998, '99, '02, '03, '04, '05), Final Four (1999, '02, 03') and national championship game (1999), along with capturing the school's first ACC Tournament championships (2000, '01, '02, '03, '04).

Geostenkors will be formally recognized at the WBCA Awards Luncheon presented by State Farm and Jostens on April 2 in Boston.

Now in its 21st year, the Carol Eckman Award has recognized the following individuals in women's basketball: Bonnie Henrickson, University of Kansas (2005); Deirdre Kane, West Chester University (2004); Marsha Sharp, Texas Tech University (2003); Barbara Stevens, Bentley College (2002); Juliene Simpson, East Stroudsburg University (2001); Kathy Delaney-Smith, Harvard University (2000); Susan Summons, Miami-Dade (Fla.) Community College (1999); Kay James, University of Southern Mississippi (1998); Amy Ruley, North Dakota State University (1997); Dr. Joann Rutherford, University of Missouri (1996); Ceal Barry, University of Colorado (1995); the late Sue Gunter, Louisiana State University (1994); C. Vivian Stringer, University of Iowa (1993); Dr. Jill Hutchison, Illinois State University (1992); Marian Washington, University of Kansas (1991); Maryalyce Jeremiah, Cal State Fullerton (1990); Linda Hill-MacDonald, University of Minnesota (1989); Kay Yow, North Carolina State University (1988); Jody Conradt, University of Texas (1987) and Laura Mapp, Bridgewater College (1986).