UConn's Dailey has an eye on Terps' spot

Oldfield named top coach

unbeaten Huskies pace Kodak All-America team

Women's Final Four notebook

March 29, 2002|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

SAN ANTONIO - The Maryland women's basketball coaching vacancy and who will fill it are among the hottest topics at the Final Four here, and a potential leading candidate declared herself interested in the post yesterday.

Connecticut associate head coach Chris Dailey, who has served as Geno Auriemma's top assistant for the past 17 seasons, said she has not been contacted by Maryland but would be interested in coaching there.

"I think you'd be crazy not to look at a place like Maryland," said Dailey, who played at Rutgers and helped lead the Scarlet Knights to the 1982 Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women championship. "I think the two big job openings that everybody's talking about are Maryland and Ohio State. [Maryland] is in a great area, great conference, new building - the works. I think they'll have their share of interested parties."

Other potential candidates to replace Chris Weller, who retired earlier this month after 27 years, include Tulane coach Lisa Stockton, who formerly played at Wake Forest; Minnesota coach Brenda Oldfield, who was named the Associated Press Coach of the Year yesterday; and Wisconsin coach Jane Albright.

Cream of the crop

As expected, Connecticut got the lion's share of awards and placements on All-America teams named yesterday.

The Huskies placed three players - seniors Sue Bird and Swin Cash and sophomore Diana Taurasi - on the 10-player Kodak All-America team chosen by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

Bird also was named Associated Press Player of the Year in balloting conducted among a panel of 45 sportswriters and broadcasters. And she captured the Wade Trophy, named for three-time national championship coach Margaret Wade of Delta State and awarded by the WBCA.

In addition, Mississippi State junior forward LaToya Thomas was named to her third Kodak team. She was joined by Vanderbilt junior center Chantelle Anderson, Duke sophomore guard Alana Beard, Oklahoma senior guard Stacey Dales, Baylor senior guard Sheila Lambert, Penn State sophomore guard Kelly Mazzante and Stanford sophomore forward Nicole Powell.

A debt of thanks

Seven years ago, Sherri Coale was coaching a high school team in Norman, Okla., when she sent one of her prize players, center Stacy Hansmeyer off to play for Auriemma's Connecticut team.

Auriemma, whose Huskies had just completed an unbeaten 1995 season with a national title, provided a reference for Coale when Oklahoma went looking for a new coach the next year. Coale got the job and has taken Oklahoma, which nearly eliminated its women's program, to its first Final Four.

"I'm not sitting here wearing an Oklahoma shirt and coaching a team in the Final Four without Geno Auriemma," said Coale yesterday. "And I told him when we met on the floor at Richmond in the Sweet 16 a couple of years ago, `I'm not here without you. And so I want you to know how much I appreciate what you did for me. You didn't get me this job, but you opened the door that allowed me to walk through and get it, and I appreciate that.' And why me? But I got it, and for the rest of my life, I've got to be indebted to Geno Auriemma. How fun is that?"

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