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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Guru Report: Another (State of) Virginia Coach On The Move?

By Mel Greenberg

Notre Dame DNA may be thicker than anything else when it comes to hiring women's basketball coaches at Xavier in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Several weeks after Kevin McGuff, a former aide to Irish coach Muffet McGraw, left the Musketeers and two-time defending conference champions for the University of Washington in the Pac-10 soon to be Pac-12, Xavier might be dipping into Notre Dame pool again to hire McGuff's successor.

Virginia Commonwealth's Beth (nee Morgan) Cunningham, the all-time Notre Dame women's scorer, has surfaced, according to well placed sources, including coaches who attended the Women's Big 5 awards banquet Tuesday night in the Philadelphia suburbs, as a potential candidate who would be leaving the Rams in Richmond if she lands the job.

If hired, Cunningham, who has built VCU into the upper echelon of the Colonial Athletic Association, would be yet another addition to action that has been heavy in the state of Virginia involving coaching moves and/or news.

The headliner has been in Charlottesville where longtime coach and Women's Basketball Hall of Famer Debbie Ryan left the Cavaliers and was replaced by former California coach Joanne Boyle after former UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell spurned Virginia for LSU.

There's also been the media dustup in Norfolk between longtime Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry and new Monarchs athletic director Wood Selig who told local papers he was not inclined to get Larry a contract extension at the moment.

Both sides at ODU apparently have since decided to cool their heels and wait to see if the Lady Monarchs can return to the top of the CAA or land in the NCAA tournament next season.

Cunningham, however, isn't the only Xavier candidate with a Notre Dame affiliation. Current associate head coach Jonathan Tsipis off McGraw's staff that guided the Irish to the national title game is also in the hunt, while Mike Neighbors, who was an assistant to McGuff at Xavier, was also interviewed.

Xavier athletic director Mike Bobinski is a Notre Dame graduate and was an assistant and associate business manager at his alma mater, a stint he served between 1984-89.

Bobinski hired McGuff, who had been part of the Notre Dame NCAA champions staff in 2001.

Meanwhile Vic Schaefer, a finalist for the New Mexico job who is secretary of defense for Gary Blair with the recently-crowned Texas A&M NCAA champions, may also be involved with the vacancy created at Charlotte after Karen Aston left the 49ers to be closer to her family in Arkansas and is the new head coach at North Texas.

Nothing new at the hour of this post in terms of UCLA's and Cal's opening.

Stay tuned.

-- Mel


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure you've heard, but Amy Waugh was hired.

5:06 PM  
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