Nebraska's Yori wins coach of the year

Updated: April 7, 2010, 3:56 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Nebraska's Connie Yori was named the Naismith women's college coach of the year Wednesday, becoming the first women's coach from the Big 12 to win the award.

"This award is less about me and more about our team," Yori said in a statement released by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "I think we have the hardest-working coaching staff in the country, and the commitment by my assistants has been unbelievable. Most importantly, this award really recognizes the amazing commitment and hard work of our players not only this year, but the players who came before them and helped build the foundation for our program."

Yori guided Nebraska to one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA history, going from 15-16 last season to winning their first 30 games before losing in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.

The Cornhuskers also reached the NCAA tournament regional semifinals for the first time in school history.

"This season has been a perfect storm," Yori said after winning The Associated Press' women's college basketball coach of the year award last week. "You've got a lot of things that fell into place for us."

Nebraska, which was picked to finish sixth in the Big 12, ended up with a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

"Connie did a remarkable coaching job to not only greatly improve over last season but to position her team among the nation's best this year," said Gary Stokan, president of the Atlanta Tipoff Club, which gives out the Naismith award. "We congratulate her tremendous success and proudly honor her as a Naismith Award winner."

Connecticut's Geno Auriemma won the award the past two years.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

ALSO SEE