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.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Associated Press Women's Poll Preseason No. 1 Year-by Year

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

With Connecticut likely to be No. 1 when the Associated Press preseason women's poll is released Tuesday, it will be the third time that the Huskies and Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma has a three-season streak to begin at No. 1.

The three-peat is matched only one time and by Tennessee coach emeritus Pat Summitt, whose Lady Vols still lead UConn by one 12-11 in all-time No. 1 rankings heading into the competition.

Tennessee has been in every preseason poll except the very first one in Nov. 1976. Of course, UConn didn't come on the scene as a power at the top until almost two decades later.

The first years through 1988-89 the poll was a Top 20 and then in 1989-90 it expanded to a Top 25 as did the AP football and men's basketball polls.

Here is the previous 39 No. 1 teams, their coaches, and the conference they were in at the time of the ranking.

The NCAA sponsorship for women didn't begin until 1981-82 so the years prior refer to the AIAW and what region the team was in. Texas was still in the old Southwest Conference when Jody Conradt had the Longhorns on top at the outset two straight times and Leon Barmore's 1989-90 No. 1 ranking came when the Lady Techsters were in the former American South.

That year also brought a one-time rarity to date with the rivalry of the time Tennessee and Louisiana Tech tied for No. 1 off the vote by coaches. They actually met at the beginning of the season so the tie was broken quickly.

Now here's the list which is cut and pasted off the Guru's Excel poll history index spreadsheet so here's hoping this is readable.

In terms of the count as of last year:

Tennessee 12
Connecticut 10
Louisiana Tech 3
Baylor 2
Duke 2
Southern Cal 2
Stanford 2
Texas 2
Delta State 1
Georgia 1
Maryland 1
Old Dominion 1
Virginia 1

And below the breakdown of those 40 team due to the one-time tie.

Preseason #1 by year
Year Team Conf. CoachF CoachL
2014-15 Connecticut AAC  Geno Auriemma
2013-14 Connecticut AAC  Geno Auriemma
2012-13 Baylor B-12  Kim Mulkey
2011-12 Baylor B-12  Kim Mulkey
2010-11 Connecticut BEC  Geno Auriemma
2009-10 Connecticut BEC  Geno Auriemma
2208-09 Connecticut BEC  Geno Auriemma
2007-08 Tennessee SEC  Pat Summitt
2006-07 Maryland ACC  Brenda Frese
2005-06 Duke ACC  Gail Goestenkors
2004-05 Tennessee SEC  Pat Summitt
2003-04 Connecticut BEC  Geno Auriemma
2002-03 Duke ACC  Gail Goestenkors
2001-02 Connecticut BEC  Geno Auriemma
2000-01 Connecticut BEC  Geno Auriemma
1999-00 Connecticut BEC  Geno Auriemma
1998-99 Tennessee SEC  Pat Summitt
1997-98 Tennessee SEC  Pat Summitt
1996-97 Stanford PAC-10  Tara VanDerveer
1995-96 Connecticut BEC  Geno Auriemma
1994-95 Tennessee SEC  Pat Summitt
1993-94 Tennessee SEC  Pat Summitt
1992-93 Stanford PAC-10  Tara VanDerveer
1991-92 Tennessee SEC  Pat Summitt
1990-91 Virginia ACC  Debbie Ryan
1989-90 Louisiana Tech Amer. Sou.  Leon Barmore
1989-90 Tennessee SEC  Pat Summitt
1988-89 Tennessee SEC  Pat Summitt
1987-88 Tennessee SEC  Pat Summitt
1986-87 Texas SWC  Jody Conradt
1985-86 Texas SWC  Jody Conradt
1984-85 Georgia SEC  Andy Landers
1983-84 Southern Cal PAC-10  Linda Sharp
1982-83 Southern Cal PAC-10  Linda Sharp
1981-82 Louisiana Tech Indp  Sonja Hogg
1980-81 Louisiana Tech AIAW-R4  Sonja Hogg
1979-80 Old Dominion AIAW-R2  Marianne Stanley
1978-79 Tennessee AIAW-R2  Pat Summitt
1977-78 Tennessee AIAW-R2  Pat Summitt
1976-77 Delta St. AIAW-R3  L. Margaret Wade


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Blogger Stephen said...

So if I have my dates right, in the early 80s Kim Mulkey was playing at Louisiana Tech, Leon Barmore was the co-head coach with Sonja Hogg, all three of whom appear on the list for a total of five times. Hogg, 1981 and 1982, Barmore 1990, and Kim Mulkey 2012 and 2013.

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