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, June 08, 2011

Guru's NCAA Report: Temple's Cardoza Agrees To Five More Years

(Guru’s note: Below this are two other new posts – a rewrite of the Tuesday night WNBA game and below that the bylaws, final rosters, and schedule for the Philadelphia/Suburban summer league that begins play next Thursday in Hatboro, Pa. If you got here first at melgreenberg.com, simply click on the Mel’s blog tab on the left column to get to the other posts. Also, the Guru will be in Knoxville, Tenn., this weekend both as a past inductee and to handle coverage of the new class highlighted by Notre Dame coach Muffett McGraw, former WNBA founding present Val Ackerman, and former Maryland and Olympic star Vicky Bullett. The Guru will arrive sometime Thursday morning as of now. Also, a quick shout out to the group at ECAC-SIDA who is meeting this week in Rochester, N.Y., and hopefully is surviving Wally World activities).

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA –
After fending off numerous schools that had interest in Temple third-year women’s basketball coach Tonya Cardoza since the end of the season, athletic director Bill Bradshaw announced a new five-year deal through 2016 agreed to by former longtime UConn assistant coach who played at Virginia.

Terms were not announced. But the Guru believes it would be safe to say that if Cardoza still has the same agent as her former boss Geno Auriemma and given that her three-year track record exceeds in most categories the three-year start of her former Cavaliers teammate Dawn Staley, who left the Owls in May 2008 to coach at South Carolina, Cardoza’s new deal could eventually land in the same neighborhood as the $500,000 package Staley was earning at the time of her departure.

Because of Cardoza’s growing reputation as one of the top new breed of women’s mentors, there also is probably a hefty buyout in the deal considering how her name has been speculated in recent seasons when prominent openings occurred.

It could be interesting if Cardoza is still at Temple near the end of her new deal and Auriemma, who will coach the Olympians next summer in London, decides to look for a new challenge. It is not known if a golf course is part of the construction of the mansion he is reported to be building in East Lyme, Conn.

Former Huskies star Jen Rizzotti, currently coach at nearby Hartford and coach of the USA U19 team that is accented with UConn players, is considered the most likely successor at this point in time.

Meanwhile, Staley’s third season was a rebuilding effort although year two brought an Atlantic 10 title, which Cardoza has yet to win. That might come next season, however, given that two-time defending champion is expected to be less powerful with the graduation and advancement to the WNBA of Amber Harris, who is with the Minnesota Lynx and Ta’Shia Phillips, who is with the Washington Mystics.

Former Musketeers coach Kevin McGuff has moved on with Mike Neighbors, one of his former assistants, to Washington in the expanded Pac-12 conference. However, that is not to diminish new Xavier coach and former Musketeers star Amy Waugh, who had been another of McGuff’s aides.

Temple went toe-to-toe in the A-10 through the regular season with Xavier until losing in the final game to the Musketeers prior to the conference tournament. The Owls also won the Big Five with a 4-0 sweep to go with the one two years ago that was shared with St. Joseph's.

Dayton, who beat the Owls in the conference semifinals, is still expected to be formidable and if St. Joseph’s can actually enter the season healthy, the Hawks could also become conference contenders.

Here is the Temple release with the announcement that chronicles Cardoza’s achievements.

-- Mel

Temple University has reached an agreement on a new long-term contract for Tonya Cardoza that will keep its highly-successful women’s basketball coach at the University until 2016, Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw announced.

“Tonya Cardoza’s performance has been exceptional in her three seasons here, and we are very pleased to be able to reach this new agreement that will keep her in charge of our most visible women's program for the next five years,” Bradshaw said.

“I'm really excited about the opportunity to continue to build upon where we already are here at Temple,” said Cardoza. “There are so many things I love about the city of Philadelphia, and the University has been nothing but supportive to our program. I look forward to our upcoming season.”

In her three seasons at the helm, Cardoza has led the Owls to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances with the Owls reaching the Second Round in each of the past two seasons. Cardoza earned her first A-10 Coach of the Year honor in 2011.

She has been honored as the Big 5 Coach of the Year in each of her seasons at Temple, and the Owls have won the Big 5 title twice in her tenure.

The former Connecticut assistant coach owns a 70-28 record at Temple, with her .714 winning percentage the highest among TU women's basketball coaches in the modern era. Cardoza led Temple to 21 wins in 2008-09, and was a finalist for the national rookie coach of the year award. She followed that with 25 wins in 2009-10 which tied for the second-most in the history of the program, and 24 victories in 2010-11.

Five of her players have earned all-Atlantic 10 accolades with Kristen McCarthy (2010) and Shey Peddy (2011) garnering first team honors. McCarthy (2010) and Peddy (2011) were named the Big 5 Player of the Year in each of the past two seasons as Cardoza has had five players named to the first team (two being repeat performers) and eight players total recognized as all-Big 5.

Temple returns eight letterwinners, including three starters, from last year's squad that posted a 24-9 record in earning the program's eighth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.

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