Fortner Finalist for National Coaching Award

Auburn's head women's basketball coach Nell Fortner and her Tigers are having a memorable season.

Atlanta, Ga.--Auburn's Nell Fortner has been named one of four finalists for the Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year Award.

She is joined on the list by Connecticut's Geno Auriemma, Oklahoma's Sherri Coale and South Dakota State's Aaron Johnston.

The award, which is presented annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, is voted on by coaches, journalists and administrators from around the country.

"Each of these coaches has proven that success is a result of hard work, dedication and passion for the game and that transcends throughout their programs," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "We look forward to watching them compete throughout the tournament and seeing which candidate claims the Naismith award.""

Fortner's Tigers defeated Lehigh 85-49 on Saturday and will play for a berth in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament on Monday vs. Rutgers at Rutgers.

Fortner, who earlier won the SEC Coach of the Year award and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Region III Coach of the Year honor, leads a team that has a 30-3 record.

The coach is in her fifth season at Auburn where she has a 101-56 record.

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