Lindy La Rocque announced as finalist for National Coach of the Year

Lindy LA Rocque cuts her net after winning Mountain West Championship. Photo by Kalin Sipes.

Head Coach for the UNLV Lady Rebels Lindy La Rocque was announced as a finalist for the Pat Summitt Trophy on March 30.

The Pat Summitt Trophy is awarded to the NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year and is voted by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

The trophy was named after Summit who is the winningest basketball coach in NCAA history in any division in men’s and women’s basketball. In Summit’s 38 years as the head coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers, she won eight NCAA national championships and 16 SEC Tournament championships.

Summit off of the court was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012 for her inspiration to coach women’s college basketball while battling Alzheimer’s.

La Rocque earned her vote as a finalist after the 2022-2023 season where she led the Lady Rebels to the largest winning streak in Division I women’s basketball in the season with a 24-game streak. 

Before the 24-game win streak, the Lady Rebels started its season with seven straight wins including winning the UNLV Thanksgiving Tournament.

The 24-game win streak went through the middle and back end of the season with the Lady Rebels sweeping the Mountain West Conference and winning the Mountain West Championship against the University of Wyoming Cowgirls to clinch a bid in the NCAA Women’s National Basketball Tournament.

The Lady Rebels earned a No. 11 seed and faced off against No. 6 seed Michigan at Louisiana State University in the first round of the NCAA Women’s National Basketball Tournament.

The Lady Rebels lost in the Round of 64 against the University of Michigan Wolverines 71-59 to conclude the regular season.

The Lady Rebels finished the 2022-2023 campaign with a 31-3 overall record and La Rocque was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year. The 31 wins in the season were the most wins in program history. 

La Rocque in her tenure as head coach of the Lady Rebels has a 72-19 record. She has won two Mountain West Championships and made two NCAA Women’s National Basketball Tournament appearances.

La Rocque’s 79.1% winning percentage is the eighth-best all-time by a Division I coach after three seasons.

The finalists alongside La Rocque include Dawn Staley, Jennie Baranczyk, Kenny Brooks, Jose Fernandez, Shauna Green, Niele Ivey, Teri Moren, Kim Mulkey and Lynne Roberts.

La Rocque was one of two Mid-Major Conference coaches that were voted as finalists for the Pat Summitt Trophy alongside Jose Fernandez of the University of South Florida Bulls.

Fernandez led the Bulls to a 27-7 record and defeated Marquette in round one of the NCAA Women’s National Basketball Tournament 67-65 in overtime. 

The Bulls’ season ended in round two with a loss to the No. 1 seed the University of South Carolina Gamecocks 76-45.

Staley is the head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks and was the recipient of the Pat Summitt Trophy in 2014.

Staley was named the recipient of the 2023 National Coach of the Year after leading the South Carolina Gamecocks to a 36-1 record losing its only game in the Final Four against the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.

In Staley’s women’s basketball dynasty she has created in South Carolina she has won two National Championships, made five Final Fours and has kept the team ranked in the AP Top 25 for every poll since Dec. 10, 2012.

La Rocque is giving it her all to create her own dynasty in Las Vegas with the UNLV Lady Rebels to expand on her first three years of early success as head coach.

The Lady Rebels have signed three high schoolers of the 2023 graduate class through national letter of intent to play for the Lady Rebels. 

McKinna Brackens, Amarachi Kimpson and Meadow Roland have all signed their national letter of intent to play for the Lady Rebels in the 2023-2024 season.

La Rocque and the Lady Rebels go into the 2023-2024 season looking to make a deeper run in the NCAA National Championship Tournament and get closer to La Rocque becoming a recipient of the trophy.


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