Hoover Named NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year

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High Point University's Jennifer Hoover Named 2012 Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year
DENVER (April 2, 2012) - High Point University's Jennifer Hoover is the 2012 recipient of the Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year Award, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced tonight at the second annual WBCA Awards Show. 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.

"One of the WBCA's core values is to assist in the growth and development of young coaches," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Jennifer Hoover has led her program to success during her rookie season, and we are proud to present Jennifer with the Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year award."

"On behalf of the Spalding brand, I'd like to congratulate Coach Hoover on her outstanding accomplishments this season," said Gary Barfield, vice president, Russell Brands, LLC, parent company of Spalding®. "We continue to be inspired by what this award stands for and the caliber of coaches it honors."

Hoover became High Point University's head coach in April 2011 and guided the program to a 20-13 overall record and 13-5 mark in Big South competition. The 2011-12 squad is only the second in the program's history in Division I to surpass the 20-win mark.

During her first season at the helm, Hoover coached the Panthers to the Big South title game - their first appearance in the championship game since 2006. Following the team's run in the conference tournament, Hoover and her team landed a spot in the Women's National Invitation Tournament, marking the first time HPU has competed in a postseason tournament since 2007.

Prior to her arrival in High Point, Hoover gained coaching experience as an assistant coach at California. One of her most notable accomplishments while on the staff at Cal was her role in the signing of the nation's No. 1 recruiting class. Hoover also served on staffs at Memphis and Virginia, as well as several other institutions.

Hoover competed at Wake Forest University where she was a three-time All-ACC selection and school-record-setting center. After her collegiate campaign, Hoover played for the Solna IF Basketball Team in Sweden and on the 1993 Athletes in Action team that played on the USA Fall Exhibition Tour and Australian Spring Tour.

The Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year Award is named 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 their 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.