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, December 28, 2016

Guru's AP Women's Poll Trivia: Which Ranked Team in History Has Had the Most Coaches Lead It Into the Poll?

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

Several years ago when Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame coach Jim Foster took Chattanooga into the rankings, he became the first and still now the only women’s coach to have four different teams in the Associated Press poll with UTC joining Ohio State, Vanderbilt, and, in his native Philadelphia area, Saint Joseph’s.

And so the question came up during the many AP women’s poll karaoke car rides that occur with AP national women’s basketball writer Doug Feinberg and your Guru as to which AP ranked team has had the most women’s coaches at one school lead them into the poll.

Well, the Guru with too much time on his hands during the down period across Christmas has come up with the winner.

Southern Cal has had seven coaches when the Trojans at times were in the rankings.

The coaching seven are:

Michael Cooper
Cynthia Cooper-Dyke
Cheryl Miller
Linda Sharp
Marianne Stanley
Mark Trakh
Fred Williams

And right behind USC are two schools with six coaches each.

The sideline six-packs are:

Ohio State:

Beth Burns
Nancy Darsch
Jim Foster
Kevin McGuff
Tara VanDerveer
Debbie Wilson


Van Chancellor
Nikki Fargas
Sue Gunter
Bob Starkey
Barbara Swanner
Pokey Chatman

In terms of multiples, next down the line are the four big coaching fives at programs that made the rankings:


Mickie DeMoss
Sharon Fanning-Otis
Terry Hall
Debbie Yow
Matthew Mitchell


Ellen Mosher
Billie Moore
Nikki Fargas
Kathy Olivia
Cori Close


Ceal Barry
Linda Lappe
Kathy McConnell-Miller
Sox Walseth
JR Payne

South Carolina

Pam Parsons
Terry Kelly
Susan Walvius
Nancy Wilson
Dawn Staley

There are a bunch more with four but since that grouping is so plentiful it is not worth taking the microscope to learn the identities of those groupings.

Now that teams become more numerable Wednesday in terms of games, the Guru will be heading to a day-long triple header in the City of Brotherly Love beginning with Marquette at Villanova opening Big East play at noon on the Main Line, then on to La Salle hosting UMKC at 3 p.m. at the Tom Gola Arena, and then to Saint Joseph’s playing James Madison at Hagan Arena which is the third straight opponent for the Hawks from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).

Then Thursday it’s the big showdown in College Park, Md., in front of a 17,000-seat sellout Xfinity Center as No. 4 Maryland hosts top-ranked Connecticut, possibly the last barrier to the run of 86 straight wins extending to 99 heading into the South Carolina game in February on the Huskies’ Storrs campus in Gampel Pavilion.

And don’t forget late Thursday afternoon the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) 2017 Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award handout will be revealed and it will be special, trust the Guru, who has been overseeing the process in his role as women’s rep to the USBWA board.



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