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Cal's Boyle receives seven-year contract

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Joanne Boyle is staying at California
instead of bolting for Duke.

The Golden Bears women's basketball coach verbally agreed
Wednesday to a seven-year contract to remain in Berkeley through
the 2013-14 season after leading her team to back-to-back NCAA
tournament appearances.

She turned down alma mater Duke on Wednesday after being offered
the job to coach the Blue Devils women's team.

"Through the process I have been flattered and humbled that
Duke even considered me," Boyle said in a conference call. "I
told the kids the reason people are calling me is because of our
success and what we're building at Cal. ... That was ultimately why
I couldn't leave. We've built something pretty special in two years
and I don't know where this journey is going to go."

The Bears, led by a highly regarded sophomore class including
Pac-10 Player of the Year Devanei Hampton, lost in the first round
of the NCAA tournament to Notre Dame 62-59 last month. Top-seeded
Duke, meanwhile, lost in the Greensboro Regional semifinals to
Rutgers.

Boyle, who had three years remaining on her previous deal, was
the top candidate to replace new Texas coach Gail Goestenkors at
Duke. Boyle was on the Blue Devils' staff from 1993-2002.

Boyle just finished her second season at Cal after leading
Richmond to three straight postseason appearances. In her first
season in Berkeley, the Golden Bears reached their first NCAA
tournament since the 1992-93 season and finished with a winning
overall and conference record for the first time since that '93
season, when Cal went 19-10 and tied for fourth in the conference.

A seven-time Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year,
Goestenkors replaced Jody Conradt at Texas after the longtime coach
announced her resignation March 12 on the heels of the Longhorns
missing the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year.

Boyle has spoken regularly with Goestenkors recently, saying the
coach told her, "'I want to hand this baton over to you."'

"I wasn't fearful of following Gail," Boyle said. "It's my
niche here. Where can I take this?"

She kept her players informed throughout the process, from the
first phone call from Duke. Boyle said she had to visit the campus
where she spent 20 years before deciding her coaching future. She
had all but made up her mind Tuesday, then slept on it before
informing everyone Wednesday -- including Mike Krzyzewski, coach of
Duke's storied men's program. She told her team via text message
before meeting with the players in the afternoon.

"A lot of people look at it as it's one of the best jobs in the
country and you can win a national championship. I could cut it off
in the middle [of rebuilding Cal] and go be comfortable," Boyle
said. "As sad as it is for me to say no to Duke, it's not where
I'm supposed to be. It was a hard decision."

Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour has been committed to
bringing the women's basketball program back to prominence, and
wanted to do everything possible to keep Boyle just as she did in
retaining football coach Jeff Tedford.

"It wasn't that I didn't feel like I could be at Duke," said
Boyle, a 1985 graduate of the school. "I feel my journey is at
Cal. You've got to follow your heart."