Techs Long Named WAC Coach of the Year


 

 
Updated Mar 6, 2006 09:05:53


Tech’s Long Named WAC Coach of the Year

RUSTON – In only his first season at the helm of one of the most storied programs in women’s basketball history, Louisiana Tech head coach Chris Long made an impression on his fellow Western Athletic Conference coaches.

On Sunday, the league office announced that Long was named the WAC Coach of the Year by his peers after leading his team to a 23-4 mark and the program’s fifth straight league regular season conference title.

“I’m honored to receive this award but players win ball games and these players bought into what we were trying to accomplish this year,” Long said. “I’m very proud of this team.”

In addition to Long’s honor, Tech placed four players on the league’s 10-member all-conference team with senior guard Tasha Williams earning first team honors while guards Aarica Ray-Boyd and Shan Moore and forward Ty Moore all earned second team accolades.

“I think they are all very deserving,” Long said. “I think it says a lot about the balance of our team this season. There are a lot of deserving players in this conference and the fact we got four on the all-WAC team says a lot about our basketball team.”

Williams was also Tech’s lone representative on the five-member WAC All-Defensive team while freshman guard Eboni Mangum earned All-Freshman team honors as well.

Long, who was named the fourth head coach in the history of the program on April 8, guided Tech back into the Top 25 in both the Associated Press and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls after the Lady Techsters fell out in December of last season.

Despite playing one of the top 20 toughest out of conference schedules in the country according to collegerpi.com, Long’s team survived the early slate and has jelled into one of the hottest teams in the nation.

Williams, the reigning WAC Player of the Year, barely missed out on her second consecutive honor as Fresno State guard Mirenda Swearingen took home that award this year.

The 5-foot-7-inch Williams, who registered only the third triple double in Tech history Saturday night against Hawaii, earned first team honors after averaging 12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.9 steals per game this year.

Joining Williams and Swearingen on the first team were Fresno State forward Amy Parrish and San Jose State forwards Amber Jackson and Lamisha Augstine.

Ray-Boyd, Shan Moore and Ty Moore are all first time All-WAC team members.

Ray-Boyd led Tech offensively this season averaging 14.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game while finishing first on the team and first in the conference with 77 three-point field goals, a new Louisiana Tech single season record.

The Texarkana, Texas, native led Tech in scoring 10 times while scoring in double figures in 20 games, including four performances of 20 or more points.

Shan Moore earned second team all-league honors after averaging 10.8 points, 5.0 rebounds 2.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game, ranking No. 15 in the WAC in scoring and No. 2 in free throw percentage (.842).

The Minden, La., native led Tech in scoring eight times and currently ranks second on the team with 70 assists and third on the team with 43 steals.

Ty Moore also earned second team All-WAC accolades during her first year as a full-time starter for the Lady Techsters. Moore averaged 10.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while hitting 51 percent of her field goals.

The Shreveport, La., native led Tech with 10 double doubles on the season and was the lone player in the league to average a double double during conference play (12.3 ppg, 10.1 rpg).

The Techster three-some were joined on the second team by Idaho’s Leilani Mitchell and Emily Faurholt.

Despite being slowed by a knee injury midway through the conference season, Mangum still earned a spot on the WAC’s All-Freshman team after averaging 8.5 points and 3.0 rebounds while seeing action in 24 games.

Prior to sustaining her injury Feb. 4 at Utah State, Mangum was averaging 10.0 points per game and was one of the leading candidates for the WAC Newcomer of the Year Award, which went to Nevada’s Brandi Fitzgerald.

First Team All-WAC
Tasha Williams, Louisiana Tech
Mirenda Swearingen, Fresno State
Amy Parrish, Fresno State
Lamisha Augustine, San Jose State
Amber Jackson, San Jose State

Second Team All-WAC
Aarica Ray-Boyd, Louisiana Tech
Shan Moore, Louisiana Tech
Ty Moore, Louisiana Tech
Leilani Mitchell, Idaho
Emily Faurholt, Idaho

Player of the Year: Mirenda Swearingen, Fresno State
Newcomer of the Year: Brandi Fitzgerald, Nevada
Coach of the Year: Chris Long, Louisiana Tech

All-Defensive
Tasha Williams, Louisiana Tech
Lamisha Augstine, San Jose State
Brittany Grice, Hawaii
Leilani Mitchell, Idaho
Jasmine Plummer, Fresno State

All-Freshman
Eboni Mangum, Louisiana Tech
Brandi Fitzgerald, Nevada
Dellena Criner, Nevada
Jessica Thompson, Boise State
Danyelle Snelgro, Utah State