Bears Sweep DIII News Basketball Programs of the Decade
St. Louis, Mo., December 1, 2009 – The Washington University men’s and women’s basketball teams were named the top programs of the 2000s, as announced by DIII News today. Head coaches Mark Edwards and Nancy Fahey were also named best coach for the first decade of the new millennium.
With two-consecutive national championships and three-straight trips to Salem, Va., to close out the decade, the men’s basketball program ranked ahead of runners up from Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Amherst, Virginia Wesleyan and Williams. The Bears finished the decade with five University Athletic Association (UAA) championships and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament on six different occasions. Washington U. finished the 2000s with an overall record of 220-52 (.809), in addition to a 112-30 (.789) record in UAA play. The 2009 squad was also named the runner-up for best team of the decade behind the 2002-03 national champion, Williams College.
The women’s basketball program captured two national championships of its own during the decade, and reached the title game on four occasions. The clear-cut choice for team of the decade ranked ahead of runners up Bowdoin, Hope, Scranton and Southern Maine. The Bears won nine of 10 UAA titles during the 10-year span, including eight in a row from 2000-07, and played in the NCAA Tournament in every year of the decade. The program finished the 2000s with an overall record of 252-38 (.869), including 126-16 (.887) in UAA action.
Edwards was named the Molten/DIII News National Coach of the Year three times during the decade, on his way to being named best coach of the 2000s. He finished ahead of Jack Bennett of UW-Stevens Point and Dave Hixon of Amherst. The UAA was named conference of the decade, while the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) was named runner up. Troy Ruths, a 2008 graduate, was named runner up for player of the decade. Ruths was a two-time DIII News first-team All-American, the 2008 DIII News Player of the Year, and also received the Jostens Trophy that year as well.
Fahey was named the Coach of the Decade for the second time in her career, as she shared the honor with Capital’s Dixie Jeffers in the 1990s. Fahey coached two national players of the year and took home her own Molten/DIII News Coach of the Year honors. WUSTL Sports Hall of Famer Alia Fischer was a runner-up for the best player of the decade after winning the honor in the 90s, and having an undefeated season in her only year of this decade. The UAA was named the conference of the decade on the women’s side.