Hoover Named Finalist for WBCA Rookie Coach of the Year

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WBCA Announces Finalists for 2012 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year
DENVER (March 30, 2012) - Jennifer Hoover of High Point University, Cara Consuegra of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and Carlene Mitchell of the University of California-Santa Barbara and  are finalists for the 2012 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced today.

This distinguished award honors a WBCA Division I head coach who has led their team to a successful season during their first year at the helm. The winner will be honored at the second annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday, April 2, in Denver. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four®.

"One of the WBCA's core values is to assist in the growth and development of young coaches," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Each of these coaches has led their program to success during 2012, and I wish them all the best of luck at the WBCA Awards Show!"

"Maggie Dixon was one of the great young coaches in our game. We feel very privileged to have her name next to ours in honoring this year's Division I Rookie Coach of the Year," said Spalding U.S. and Canada Director John Salay. "Congratulations to all of this year's finalists of the Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year"

Hoover became High Point's head coach in April 2011 and led the program to great success during her rookie year. She guided her team to a 20-13 record and 13-5 mark in Big South competition. The 2011-12 squad is only the second in the program's Division I history to surpass the 20-win plateau.

Consuegra was named Charlotte's head women's basketball coach in April 2011. Consuegra's team ended the season with a 16-14 overall record and an 8-6 Atlantic 10 mark under the first-year head coach. The 49ers advanced to postseason tournament play for the tenth consecutive season after earning a spot in the Women's National Invitation Tournament.

Mitchell took the reins at UC-Santa Barbara in May 2011. Under Mitchell's direction, the Gauchos concluded the season with a 17-16 overall and 8-8 conference record. The rookie head coach directed her team to a Big West Conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth.

The Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year award is presented in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, former Army head coach, whose success during her inaugural year at the Army helm was remarkable. The Black Knights won the Patriot League title in 2006 and Dixon was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year after leading Army to the NCAA Tournament for the first time at the NCAA Division I level. Coach Dixon passed away on April 6, 2006, just a few weeks following the Black Knights' appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

About Spalding:
A Division of Russell Brands, LLC, Spalding is the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world, and America's first baseball company. Spalding is the official basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the official backboard of the NBA and NCAA, the official baseball of the Little League World Series, the official volleyball of the King of the Beach Volleyball Tour and the official football of Pop Warner. In addition to being the leading producer and marketer of basketballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls, Spalding produces softballs under the Dudley brand. The SPALDING® and DUDLEY® trademarks are owned by Russell Brands, LLC. For more information, visit www.spalding.com.

About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. The WBCA is pleased to join the women's sports community in commemorating the 40th anniversary of Title IX, which was passed by Congress on June 23, 1972, and provides females with equal opportunities in athletics in the U.S. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.