Abilene Christian Extends Women’s Basketball Head Coach Julie Goodenough

first_img“We’re certainly fortunate to have a coach the caliber of Julie Goodenough leading our women’s basketball program,” ACU president Dr. Phil Schubert said. “She’s made such a tremendous impact on our athletics program and our university, and I’m looking forward to many more years of having her lead our women’s program.” While this year’s team might have been able to sneak up on some teams, next year’s team won’t have that luxury. Wright, Dominique Golightly and Ducate all will be back in 2019-20, along with with Makayla Mabry and a host of key reserves. Louisiana Tech transfer Anna McLeod – who redshirted this year due to NCAA transfer rules – will join the rotation next year to give the Wildcats another offensive threat. Terms of the contract will not be released, but the extension takes the place of the three years that Goodenough had remaining on her contract. Goodenough is the fifth-longest-tenured head coach on the ACU staff behind men’s tennis coach Hutton Jones (currently in his 23rd season), women’s soccer’s Casey Wilson (in his 12th season), softball’s Bobby Reeves (in his ninth season) and men’s basketball’s Joe Golding (just completed his eighth season). Goodenough – who began her ACU career in the Wildcats’ final season at the NCAA Division II level (2012-13) – led the Wildcats to the program’s first Southland Conference Postseason Tournament championship and berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2018-19. The Wildcats ran through the conference tournament with wins over Central Arkansas, No. 1 seed Lamar and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to win the league championship. ACU’s season came to an end in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with a loss to overall No. 1 seed Baylor (which clinched its spot in the Final Four with a victory Monday night), but the 23-10 overall record and Division I postseason made this the greatest season in the history of a program littered with great seasons. “Our first NCAA Tournament appearance was an extraordinary experience, but will certainly not be the last under Julie’s leadership,” he said. “I’m already anticipating next season as the team returns practically everyone from its championship roster.” Goodenough has won four conference titles in seven seasons as the Wildcats’ head coach and won at least 20 games in four of seven seasons. She is 144-68 in seven seasons at ACU and 433-288 overall in a career that has spanned 25 seasons and seen her coach at Hardin-Simmons University, Oklahoma State, Charleston Southern and ACU. The Wildcats finished fourth in the conference in the regular season (13-5 in the league), earning a first-round bye in the postseason tournament. ACU then blitzed Central Arkansas in the first round, whipping the Sugar Bears, 82-54, and setting conference tournament single-game records for 3-pointers made (16) and attempted (35). ACU then put together one of the more remarkable performances in program history in the semifinals as the Wildcats rallied from an 11-point second-quarter deficit against one of the nation’s top defensive teams to beat No. 1 seed Lamar, 88-79, in the semifinals. Junior guard Breanna Wright had a team-high 31 points and set a tournament single-game record for most free throws made without a miss (16) to help ACU hold off the Cardinals and their normally suffocating defense. “I want to thank Dr. Schubert and Allen Ward for their confidence in me and our program,” Goodenough said. “It’s truly an honor to be the head women’s basketball coach at ACU. I’m excited about the future of this university and program.” “I’m so proud of our team,” Goodenough said. “People don’t remember back in the fall, we were picked sixth in the Southland Conference, and we won the conference championship and played in the NCAA Tournament. I can’t say enough about our team and our program. This is our sixth year to play Division I and we have won three conference championships, so we believe we’re headed in the right direction. “Julie has built a program at ACU that is positioned for success each and every year,” Ward said. “She’s an outstanding coach with a reputation amongst her peers that is unquestioned. I congratulate her on this year’s championship and look forward to working with her to take ACU women’s basketball to even greater heights. That victory gave ACU its third Southland Conference title in the last four years: two regular-season titles in 2015-16 and 2016-17 and trips to the Women’s NIT when ACU was ineligible for the conference and NCAA Tournaments because of Division I transition rules and the 2018-19 tournament title. Goodenough also led the Wildcats to their final Lone Star Conference regular season title in 2012-13 in her first season at the helm and the program’s final season at the Division II level. Courtesy of the Abilene Christian Athletic DepartmentABILENE, Texas – ACU head women’s basketball coach Julie Goodenough, who just led the Wildcats to the greatest season in program history, has agreed to a contract extension that will keep her with the Wildcats through the 2023-24 season. The next day in the championship game, the Wildcats led Corpus Christi by as many as 24 points midway through the third quarter before the Islanders were able to tie the game at 64-64 with 1:47 to play. But the Wildcats were able to make just enough plays down the stretch – including the biggest offensive rebound in program history by Lexie Ducat after a missed free throw led to two free throws by Wright – to hold on for a 69-68 victory. “Julie has certainly earned this contract extension,” ACU director of athletics Allen Ward said. “She’s a remarkable coach and ACU is fortunate to have her leading our women’s basketball program. With Julie at the helm, I know that many more great days are ahead for ACU women’s basketball.”last_img

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