April 15, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. - Joanne Boyle, who steered Richmond to three straight postseason appearances, was named head women's basketball coach at California, Athletic Director Sandy Barbour announced Friday. Boyle has been signed to a five-year contract, extending through the 2009-10 season.
"I'm ecstatic that the University of California has successfully secured a coach of Joanne Boyle's character, professional expertise and vision," Barbour said. "Throughout her career, Coach Boyle has established that she has an affinity for high quality academic institutions like the University of California and has clearly demonstrated that she understands what it takes to build and sustain a women's basketball program that will compete with the nation's elite programs. I look forward to all of us working together with Joanne and her staff to bring Cal women's basketball to the forefront of the Pac-10 Conference and the national scene."
Boyle comes to Cal after serving three seasons as head coach at Richmond, where she directed the Spiders to three consecutive 20-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, their best mark in the four years since they joined the conference. In January, the program received its first-ever national ranking - No. 25 in the ESPN-USA Today-WBCA Coaches' Poll.
This past season, 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 wins 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 top 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.
"I'm excited about the possibility to build a nationally-regarded program at Cal," Boyle said. "I couldn't ask for a better package - a Top 10 recruiting class, a beautiful campus and an athletic director who is committed to the women's basketball team becoming a national contender. The situation reminds me a lot of the potential at Duke when (head coach) Gail Goestenkors took over 12 years ago. It's a gold mine waiting to happen. I couldn't ask for a better fit."
The Philadelphia native recorded a 67-29 mark (.698) in three seasons in 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 tutelage, six Richmond players have been selected All-Atlantic 10, with Kate Flavin receiving first team honors in 2004 and 2005.
Boyle was hired by the Spiders in April 2002, inheriting a team which posted a 14-16 overall record the previous year and hadn't enjoyed a postseason appearance since 1990-91.
Cal looks for Boyle to ignite a similar turnaround in Berkeley. The Bears have posted 12 consecutive losing seasons and last advanced to the postseason in 1993 when they lost to Vanderbilt in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Boyle replaces Caren Horstmeyer, who was relieved of her Cal coaching duties March 16 after recording a 52-91 (.364) record in five seasons. The Bears will be a young but talented squad next year, as they return eight letterwinners - only one senior in Reneé Wright - and welcome the No. 7-rated recruiting class in the country, according to Blue Star Index. Next season's incoming class features Oakland's Alexis Gray-Lawson and Devanei Hampton who were tabbed McDonald's All-Americans and second team Parade All-Americans.
Boyle also has a proven track record as a recruiter, inking Blue Star Index's 12th-ranked recruiting class in the country for 2005-06. Next year's Spiders' freshman class includes 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 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 three 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.
"I am so happy and pleased for Joanne," Duke's Goestenkors said. "She is a bright and shining star in the coaching community. It is a wonderful fit for her to go out to California, and I think Sandy Barbour has a lot to do with that. I am happy for California and Joanne. I know she is going to make tremendous strides there and will bring their program to national prominence."
Prior to coaching at Duke, Boyle played professional basketball overseas for division one teams in Luxembourg and Germany before returning to the United States after three years. During her European stay, she also won three league championships as head coach of two second division clubs - Ettlebrook Luxembourg and Osnabruck Germany.
Boyle, a four-year letter-winner at Duke, graduated in 1985 with a degree in economics and obtained a master's of science in health policy and administration from North Carolina in 1989. She ended her playing career ranked second on the Duke scoring charts and second in assists. Her 75 steals during the 1984-85 campaign remained the highest single-season total until Beard broke the mark in 2000-01.
Boyle graduated from Gateway High School in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1981 and played three years of basketball there.
JOANNE BOYLE FILE Hometown: Philadelphia, PA High School: Gateway (Pittsburgh), 1981 College: Duke, 1985 (bachelor's), and North Carolina, 1989 (master's)