Goestenkors leaving Duke for Texas

By: From Wire Reports
By: From Wire Reports

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Gail Goestenkors is leaving Duke to coach the Texas women's basketball team, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Goestenkors, 44, built a powerhouse during her 15 seasons at Duke, winning seven Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year awards and compiling a career record of 396-99.

The person with knowledge of the decision spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement had not yet been made.

Duke guard Abby Waner said a team meeting was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, but did not know why it was being held.

Goestenkors was widely considered the top candidate to replace Hall of Famer Jody Conradt at Texas after her sudden resignation last month.

The night Conradt retired, Texas officials made it clear they would be willing to pay for a top-notch coach. Conradt earned $550,000 a year. While Goestenkors' salary at Duke is not a public record, it was believed the private school would be unlikely to match a high offer from the Longhorns.

Goestenkors visited the Texas campus last week, when she met with women's athletic director Chris Plonsky and members of the school's search committee and toured the Longhorns' 44,000-square-foot practice facilities.

Goestenkors coached the Blue Devils to four Final Fours and two appearances in the national championship game. Her last Duke team was one of her best -- the Blue Devils ended the regular season ranked No. 1 and held the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament, but were upset in the regional semifinals by Rutgers. Duke ended the season with a 32-2 record.

After Goestenkors visited Austin, Duke held an on-campus rally attended by fans and players to urge her to stay. But Texas is considered one of nation's best programs with its first-rate facilities and a recruiting pipeline to 1,300 Texas high schools.

Goestenkors already has established herself with those schools, signing star senior Lindsey Harding out of the Houston area.

Conradt spent 31 seasons at Texas and won her only national championship in 1986, when the Longhorns went 34-0. She retired with a career record of 900-306 in 38 seasons at Sam Houston State, Texas-Arlington and Texas.

Conradt and Tennessee's Pat Summitt are the only Division I coaches with 900 or more victories, but the Longhorns last made the Final Four in 2003.

AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, N.C., contributed to this report.


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