Two weeks ago, the four finalists for the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year award were announced and Oregon State women’s basketball head coach Scott Rueck was included in the elite group of coaches. Now, you can help coach Rueck potentially win the award by taking part in the “Naismith Fan Vote”, which will account for 5% of the total vote when the winner is selected on April 1st. To vote for coach Rueck, follow this link and be sure to get your vote in before the voting period ends on March 31st.
Coach Rueck guided the Beavers to a 31-5 overall record this season, which included a Pac-12 regular season championship and a #2 seed in the Stockton Region of the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately for the Beavers, their season ended in a bitter loss to #3 seed Florida State in the Sweet Sixteen, ending the careers of seniors Sydney Wiese, Gabby Hanson and Kolbie Orum on a sour note. Rueck, who was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year this season, has compiled a 112-25 record over the past four seasons, including four straight NCAA Tournament trips.
Rueck’s competition for the award boast equally impressive resumes as UCONN’s Geno Auriemma, Texas’ Karen Aston and Mississippi State’s Vic Schaefer, all stand as deserving recipients of the accolade as well.
Auriemma, currently has the Huskies in the midst of the 111-game winning streak and in the Final Four, where they hope to claim their fifth straight NCAA title. Auriemma is also the reigning winner of the award (2016), in addition to claiming the accolade in six other past seasons (2009, 2008, 2002, 2000, 1997, 1995).
Texas’ Karen Aston led her Longhorns group to a 25-9 overall record, which ended at the hands of #2 seed Stanford in the Sweet Sixteen. Aston was named Big 12 Coach of the Year this season but she has never previously won the Naismith award.
Vic Schaefer has directed his Mississippi State program to a 33-4 overall record and along with UCONN, is the only coach of the quartertet still alive in the NCAA Tournament. Ironically enough, the Aggies will match up against UCONN on Friday night, in what will be the toughest test for the Huskies since they squared off with Florida State earlier this season.