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Scovel again named Coach of the Year

Updated Apr 20, 2017 at 5:08 PM

 

By DUSTIN KENT
News Herald Assistant Sports Editor

 

For the second straight year, Gulf Coast women’s basketball coach Roonie Scovel has been named the NJCAA

Division I Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year, the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee announced Wednesday.

 

Scovel led the Lady Commodores to a 34-2 record in the 2016-17 season en route to a second straight national championship and her fifth national title overall. She also led Gulf Coast to national titles in 2003, 2008, 2010, and 2016.

It was also the second straight year in which the Lady Commodores completed the trifecta of titles by winning the Panhandle Conference, Region 8, and national championships.

 

“I think it’s again a reflection of the success of the team,” Scovel said of winning the award. “The back to back national championships was really special for us and it’s pretty special for any team to be able to do that. I think the coach of the year award is just a reflection of what these young ladies accomplished.”

 

Gulf Coast won the title despite returning just one starter from a season ago in Maria Castro, with a second, Kentucky-bound guard Amanda Paschal, suffering a season-ending injury before the first game. The Lady

Commodores also were without Syracuse-bound sophomore guard Raven Fox for the first two months of the season and lost Purdue signee Fatou Diagne to a season-ending injury midway through conference play.

 

Scovel said she was most proud of the way her team handled adversity through the season.

 

“Their resiliency, their courage and strength, and all those qualities for a team, to just keep working and working and believe in and buy in ... they just kept on working and really got better throughout the season,” she said. “We always say you’ve got to play with each other and for each other and they did that throughout the season.

 

“It’s sort of amazing for them to accomplish what they did on the court. For us as coaches, it’s fun to watch young ladies get to do what they want. Of course, we coached them and called timeouts, but they had to do all the work on the court and they did.”

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