Louisville Women’s Basketball Coach Jeff Walz has been one of the best coaches in the women’s college basketball ranks since he became head coach at Louisville. However, he has never won the national coach of the year award despite having highly successful seasons. Coach Walz has a very good chance this year as he has been named a semifinalist for the 2020 Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year Award.
Coach Walz is one of 10 semifinalists. It’s no secret as to why he is. Despite losing prolific scorer Asia Durr, one of the best players in program history, Louisville has had an excellent season going 27-3 and 16-2 in the ACC. The team won the ACC Regular Season Championship outright and along the way beat one of the best teams in women’s college basketball this season in Oregon. Louisville has dealt with some player absences and injuries yet hasn’t taken a huge stumble.
A lot of credit for this stellar Louisville season goes to Coach Walz for helping players like Dana Evans and Kylee Shook improve and become better players than they were last year. In fact, Evans won ACC Player of the Year while Shook won ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
The next round of voting for this prestigious award will take place on March 19th to determine four finalists. From March 20th to April 1st, fans can vote on those four finalists. The fan vote will account for 5% of the total vote. The winner of the award will be announced April 4th.
The Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year Award was inaugurated in the 1986-1987 season by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summit was the inaugural winner. Legendary UConn Coach Geno Auriemma has won the award 8 times, which is the most. Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder won last year’s award.
For more info on the award and Coach Walz’s candidacy, click the story from UofL in the tweet above.