Joanne Boyle, the 2007-08 Russell Athletic/WBCA Region 8 Coach of the Year, has guided the California women's basketball program to the distinction of being one of the top-10 teams in the country during her first four seasons at the helm. The 2008-09 Cal team earned the highest ranking in school history in the major polls, spending four weeks at No. 3.
Boyle enters 2010-11 with a 119-48 record in five years in Berkeley, giving her the best winning percentage (.713) of any of the eight women's basketball coaches in school history and a eight-year career record of 186-77 (.707). A member of the State Farm/Wade Trophy selection committee and the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee, Boyle became the third individual in school history to be honored as Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2006-07. She registered more wins in her first three seasons at Cal (68) than the Bears tallied in the six seasons (63) prior to her arrival.
Under Boyle's direction, Cal registered four consecutive NCAA Tournament berths (2006-09) and four consecutive seasons with at least 20 wins for the first time in school history. In 2008, Cal advanced to its first Pac-10 Tournament final. In 2009, the Bears advanced to the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. In 2010, Boyle's Bears won six straight games to give the program its first-ever WNIT Championship.
Boyle's 2007-08 and 2008-09 teams carved their place in the national spotlight and in the school record books. The Bears set Cal records for wins in a season (27-7), winning percentage (.794), Pac-10 victories (15-3) and Pac-10 finish (2nd) both of those seasons.
In 2008-09, Cal spent four weeks ranked at a program best No. 3 in both the USA Today-ESPN Coaches poll and the Associated Press poll and spent 16 weeks during the regular season ranked in the top-10 of the Coaches' poll.
In 2008-09, Cal jumped into the national spotlight early, treating the Nov. 21 home crowd to a 66-52 upset then-ranked No. 2 Rutgers, marking the highest ranked win in Boyle's head coaching career.
The squad began the season going 7-0, setting a school record for victories to begin a season. The squad went on to register record-setting Pac-10 win streaks (11 games) and overall win streaks (12 games).
Boyle led the 2008-09 Bears deeper into the post-season than any other Cal women's basketball team had ever advanced, with a 99-73 over fifth-seeded Virginia sending the Bears into the Sweet-16 before falling to the No. 1 ranked UConn Huskies. It was also the first time that a Cal coach had led the Bears to four straight NCAA tournament appearances.
Boyle also signed the No. 1 ranked recruiting class in the nation with a 2009-10 incoming freshman class that includes three players who earned Parade Magazine high school All-American honors, two WBCA high school All-Americans, and four McDonalds high school All-Americans.
Since Boyle's arrival on the West Coast, Cal has emerged as one of the Pac-10's statistical leaders. In 2007-08, Cal ranked among the top-five teams in 13 categories for the second straight season and was No. 1 in four areas.
In 2007-08, Cal advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993. No. 3-seeded Cal defeated No. 14-seeded San Diego, 77-60, in the first round of 2008 NCAAs before losing to No. 6-seeded George Washington, 55-53, in the second round on a buzzer beater.
After registering the program's first winning record and postseason berth in 13 seasons in 2005-06, the following year's team surpassed that standard. The Philadelphia native led the Golden Bears to a 23-9 overall record, marking Cal's first 20-win season in 15 years and falling only one win from matching the 1983-84 team (24-8) for the previous most wins in school history. Eighth-seeded Cal fell to ninth-seeded Notre Dame, 62-59, in the opening round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
In 2006-07, Cal matched the 1991-92 Cal team for the then-best Pac-10 record (12-6) and placed alone in third place for the then-best Pac-10 showing in school history. The 2006-07 Bears also were nationally ranked 17 of 18 weeks, including a then-school-record No. 15 ranking by the Associated Press for two weeks. On the heels of the 2005-06 squad's success, Cal was ranked No. 21 in the preseason AP and USA Today-ESPN coaches' polls.
Boyle's team gained further attention when it upset No. 8 Stanford, 72-57, on the road Feb. 4, 2007. The victory snapped the Cardinal's 17-game winning streak and 50-game home Pac-10 winning streak. Also that season, Cal defeated Oregon, 65-56, Jan. 20, 2007, in Berkeley to give Boyle her 100th-career victory.
During her first Cal season in 2005-06, Boyle led a freshman-dominated Bears team to an 18-12 overall record, a sixth-place showing in the Pac-10 (10-8) and the school's first NCAA Tournament bid since 1993.
That year, Cal registered victories over No. 13 Arizona State (66-64) and Pac-10 Tournament champion UCLA (65-58) at home, and No. 23 USC (72-67) on the road. The 10th-seed Bears fell to seventh-seeded St. John's, 78-68, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament after holding a first-half lead.
Under Boyle's tutelage, Cal players have received 24 conference postseason honors, highlighted by center Devanei Hampton's 2006-07 Pac-10 Player of the Year honor and guard Alexis Gray-Lawson's 2005-06 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award. Hampton became the 10th freshman in conference history to be named first-team All-Pac-10 and became Cal's first three-time first-team selection in 2007-08. Forward Ashley Walker became a three-time first-team All-Pac-10 member when she earned her third accolade at the end of the 2008-09 season. Walker was also a 2007-08 and 2008-09 Pac-10 All-Defensive team member. In 2007-08, guard Lauren Greif garnered second-team Pac-10 All-Academic, moving up to first team honors in 2008-09.
After her first season at Cal, Boyle was named an assistant coach for the USA team that competed in the 2006 FIBA Americas U20 Championship for Women and a member of the WBCA Board of Directors. With Boyle on staff and Hampton on the 12-player roster, the USA defeated Brazil, 96-54, to claim the FIBA Americas title with a 5-0 record.
In 2009, Boyle was named to the USA Junior National Team Committee, a post she will hold through the 2012 season. The Women's Junior National Team committees select coaches and athletes for USA Basketball college-aged competitions, which include the FIBA U19 World Championships, the FIBA Americas U18 Championships, the World University Games and the Pan American Games.
Boyle was hired at Cal on April 15, 2005, after serving three seasons as head coach at Richmond, where she directed the Spiders to three consecutive 20-plus win seasons, including a 23-8 record and the program's first NCAA berth in 14 years in 2004-05. The Spiders finished with a 12-4 record in the Atlantic 10 in Boyle's final year, their best mark in the four years since they joined the conference. In January 2005, the program received its first-ever national ranking - No. 25 in the ESPN-USA Today-WBCA Coaches' Poll.
In 2005, Richmond earned the program's first at-large bid and third overall invitation to the NCAA Tournament. The 11th-seeded Spiders lost to sixth-seeded Florida State, 87-54, in the first round. Also in 2004-05, Boyle coached Richmond to victories over Virginia, Liberty and Dartmouth - all NCAA Tournament qualifiers - and fielded a team that led the Atlantic 10 in three-point field goal percentage (35.1%) and ranked in the upper five in the conference in 13 statistical categories. For Boyle's efforts, the Richmond Times-Dispatch named her the Virginia State Coach of the Year.
Boyle recorded a 67-29 mark (.698) in three seasons at Richmond. In addition to the 2005 NCAA Tournament, she led the Spiders to the WNIT quarterfinals in 2003 (21-11) and to the WNIT semifinals in 2004 (23-10). Her 2003-04 team paced the conference in six statistical categories, including scoring offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage and assist/TO ratio. At 17.9 assists per game, Richmond ranked 10th in the nation.
Under Boyle's guidance, six Richmond players were selected All-Atlantic 10, with Kate Flavin receiving first- team honors in 2004 and 2005. Boyle was hired by the Spiders in April of 2002, inheriting a team that posted a 14-16 overall record the previous year and hadn't enjoyed a postseason appearance since 1990-91. As she did at Richmond, Boyle brought a winner to Berkeley in her inaugural year at the helm, snapping a streak of 12 straight losing seasons at Cal. Boyle also has a proven track record as a recruiter, inking Blue Star Index's 12th-ranked recruiting class in the country for Richmond in 2004-05. She signed Crystal Goring, who was rated the No. 6 best player nationally by Blue Star and earned McDonald's and WBCA All-America honors.
Before accepting her first collegiate head coaching job at Richmond, Boyle was an integral part of Duke's rise to national prominence as an assistant coach for nine seasons. The season before Boyle's arrival in 1993-94, Duke compiled a 12-15 record and finished last in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Two seasons into her stint in Durham, N.C., the team notched 20-plus wins (22-9) for the first time in 10 years and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
With Boyle on staff, Duke garnered eight straight NCAA Tournament berths, highlighted by appearances in the 1999 national championship game and the 2002 semifinals. The Blue Devils reached the 20-win plateau seven times, twice amassed at least 30 victories, were ranked in the top 10 nationally four straight years, grabbed four regular-season ACC championships and advanced to the 1998 NCAA Elite Eight and to the 2000 and 2001 NCAA Sweet 16.
Kodak All-Americans Michele VanGorp (1999), Georgia Schweitzer (2001), Alana Beard (2002 and 2003) and Iciss Tillis (2003) were among the players who benefited from Boyle's presence at Duke. Beard was selected the 2003 Kodak Player of the Year. Fueling Duke's rise on the national scene were four straight top-five recruiting classes from 1999-02.
Duke's success in 2001-02 was particularly rewarding for Boyle, who faced a unique personal challenge off the court. In late November, Boyle suffered an ateriovenous malformation (AVM) in her brain, which resulted in brain surgery and a lengthy hospital stay. The genetic condition is a capillary deficiency that causes an eruption of blood vessels which produces stroke-like symptoms and bleeding within the cerebellum. An AVM differs from a blot clot in that an AVM cannot reappear. Surrounded by her team, friends and family, Boyle fought valiantly to overcome her illness. Her recovery process was more rapid than her doctors had predicted. Her steely resolve, coupled with intense physical and speech therapy, enabled Boyle to return to her role on the Blue Devils' bench within a month. Not long after that, she was on her way to San Antonio, Texas, with the team for Duke's second Final Four appearance in four years.
Prior to coaching at Duke, Boyle played professional basketball overseas for three years for division one teams in Luxembourg and Germany. During her European stay, she also won two league championships.
Boyle, a four-year letterwinner at Duke, graduated in 1985 with a degree in economics and obtained a master's of science degree in health policy and administration from North Carolina in 1989. She ended her playing career ranked second at Duke in both scoring and in assists. Her 75 steals during the 1984-85 campaign remained the highest single-season total until Beard broke the mark in 2000-01.
Joanne Boyle Cal Career Highlights
- 2007-08 Russell Athletic/WBCA Region 8 Coach of the Year and 2006-07 Pac-10 Coach of the Year
- Joined Gooch Foster (1991-92) and Caren Horstmeyer (2003-04) as Cal's women's basketball coaches who earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year
-Led California to its first ever WNIT title, winning the first-ever National Championship to be decided in Haas Pavilion
- Cal's 68 wins in the first three seasons under Joanne Boyle are more than the Bears posted in the previous six years (63) prior to her arrival in Berkeley
- Owns the best winning percentage (.713) of any of the eight women's basketball coaches in Cal history
- Surpassed the 1983-84 Bears (24-8) for the school record for wins in a season in 2007-08 and 2008-09 (27-7)
- Directed Cal to the best Pac-10 finish (2nd) and to the Bears' best Pac-10 record (15-3) in program history in 2007-08 and 2008-09
- In 2007-08, led Cal to the Pac-10 Tournament final for the first time
- In 2008-09, spent four weeks at a program-best No. 3 ranking in both the AP and USA Today-ESPN Coaches' polls
- Advanced the 2008-09 squad to the Sweet-16 after winning a second round game in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history
- Guided Cal to eight ranked wins in four seasons, including victories in 2008-09 over No. 2 Rutgers, No. 7 Stanford, and No. 24 Virginia
- Coached the 2006-07 Pac-10 Player of the Year (Devanei Hampton) and the 2005-06 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year (Alexis Gray-Lawson)
- Her players have earned All-Pac-10 honors 14 times and Pac-10 All-Freshman accolades 10 times
- Coached three All-Americans (Devanei Hampton, Ashley Walker, and Alexis Gray-Lawson)
- Coached the 2010 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner (Alexis Gray-Lawson), an honor given to the top player in the nation 5-8 and under
- 2006 USA Under-20 National team assistant coach
- USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee member (2009-12)
- Member of the WBCA Board of Directors
California (Head Coach) Years Overall Conference Record/Finish Postseason 2005-06 18-12 10-8/6th Pacific-10 NCAA First Round 2006-07 23-9 12-6/3rd Pacific-10 NCAA First Round 2007-08 27-7 15-3/2nd Pacific-10 NCAA Second Round 2008-09 27-7 15-3/2nd Pacific-10 NCAA Third Round 2009-10 24-13 11-7/4th Pacific-10 WNIT Champions Totals 119-48 (.713)
Richmond (Head Coach) Years Overall Conference Record/Finish Postseason 2002-03 21-11 9-7/T4th Atlantic 10 WNIT Quarterfinals 2003-04 23-10 11-5/4th Atlantic 10 WNIT Semifinals 2004-05 23-8 12-4/4th Atlantic 10 NCAA First Round Totals 67-29 (.698)
Boyle's Career Head Coaching Record: 186-77 (.707), 8 years
Duke (Assistant Coach) 1993-94 16-11 7-9/5th ACC - 1994-95 22-9 10-6/4th ACC NCAA Second Round 1995-96 26-7 12-4/2nd ACC NCAA Second Round 1996-97 19-11 9-7/5th ACC NCAA Second Round 1997-98 24-8 13-3/1st ACC NCAA Elite Eight 1998-99 29-7 15-1/1st ACC NCAA National Championship Game 1999-00 28-6 12-4/2nd ACC NCAA Sweet 16 2000-01 30-4 13-3/1st ACC NCAA Sweet 16 2001-02 31-4 16-0/1st ACC NCAA Final Four Totals 225-121 (.650)