Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

AP Poll: Voting-Link, Notes, and Guru's Muses

By Mel Greenberg

Happy New Year everyone.

First, now that I see the right week is in place at their site, here is the AP Voters Link for this week.

Secondly, a few notes from the Guru's historical files.

Not only does Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma stand at 600 wins, he just reached 280 poll appearances, all with the Huskies. That makes him 11th on the all-time list, only 10 spots away from the retired Joe Ciampi, the former Auburn coach who is at 290.

Auriemma, among active coaches with teams that have been ranked, is ninth, and 12 appearances behind his former boss Debbie Ryan at Virginia, whose team is not ranked at the moment.

The all-time leader in both categories is Pat Summitt, with 512 appearances, missing just 14 of the overall total since the poll began in November, 1976.

Georgia coach Andy Landers, who will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville in June, is second at 404. Texas coach Jody Conradt, whose team is not ranked, is third at 392. The next time Rutgers gets back into the poll, coach C. Vivian Stringer, one of a few with three different teams making appearances, will personally register No. 350. She holds the fourth spot.

And a note that only your Guru can provide, when Texas A&M, Louisville, and George Washington were all lined up together last week, the grouping recalled that A&M's Gary Blair, Louisville's Tom Collen, and George Washington's Joe McKeown have shared Tee-times together at the Women's Basketball Association's (WBCA) golf outings at the Final Four.

We were recently remiss in not updating our coach-player file when Arkansas' Susie Gardner joined an elite group of people who have played for teams ranked in AP poll history and also coached them. In some instances, both achievements happened at the same school.

Here is that chart:


(Played for and coached Ranked Teams)


1. Katie Abrahamson-Henderson SW Missouri Georgia/Iowa
2. Cheryl Burnett SW Missouri Kansas
3. Pokey Chatman% LSU LSU
4. June Daugherty Boise St./Washington Ohio St.
5. Nell Fortner Purdue Texas
6. Susie Gardner Arkansas Georgia
7. Wendy Larry% Old Dominion Old Dominion
8. JoAnne P. McCallie Michigan St. Northwestern
9. Muffet McGraw Notre Dame St. Joseph’s
10. Cheryl Miller% Southern Cal Southern Cal
11. Kim Mulkey Baylor Louisiana Tech
12. Mary Murphy Wisconsin Northwestern
13. Kathy Olivier UCLA UNLV
14. Carolyn Peck Purdue/Florida Vanderbilt
15. Laurie Pirtle Cincinnati Ohio St.
16. Carol Ross% Florida, Mississippi Mississippi
17. Bev Smith% Oregon Oregon
18. Dawn Staley Temple Virginia
19. Jan Ternyik San Francisco Montclair St.
20. Charli Turner Thorne Arizona St. Stanford
21. Amy Tucker* Stanford Ohio St.

*-Filled in for Tara VanDerveer in 1995-96

%-Four played and coached at same ranked school.

And for those who might be wondering, Immaculata's Rene Portland, Marianne Stanley, and Theresa Grentz, who all coached ranked teams, did not play for one because they graduated prior to 76-77, the first year of the poll. However, their success helped create the inspiration to launch the poll in the Inquirer in November, 1976.

On that other hand, that was time enough for Old Dominion's Wendy Larry to play for a ranked team her senior year before coaching one later in life at her alma mater.

-- Mel


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