Chancellor introduced as LSU women's coach

Van Chancellor, who was recently selected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, has been named the head women's basketball coach at LSU, director of athletics Skip Bertman announced on Wednesday.

Chancellor, who succeeds Pokey Chatman, becomes the fifth women's basketball coach in the school's 32 year history of playing the sport.


Chancellor, a veteran head coach of 29 years at both the collegiate and professional levels, brings to LSU an impeccable resume, one that includes leading the United States to a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics Games, four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets and 14 NCAA Tournament appearances at Ole Miss.


"It's a rare occasion that an athletic director has the opportunity to hire a person with the credentials that Van Chancellor brings to our women's basketball program," Bertman said. "Van has experienced tremendous success at all levels of women's basketball.


"He developed Ole Miss into a powerhouse in the SEC, won WNBA titles with the Houston Comets and led our national team to a gold medal in the Olympics. He knows how to win championships and that's what we have come to expect at LSU. Van is a man with a great deal of energy and drive and we are excited to have him become our women's basketball coach."


In addition to his recent selection to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, along with the likes of Roy Williams, Phil Jackson and Mendy Rudolph, Chancellor is also a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.


Success has followed Chancellor at every turn, as he posted a 38-0 mark in International competition as head coach of the United States Olympic Team. Add to that his 211 victories as head coach of the Comets and the 439 games he won at Ole Miss, and Chancellor comes to LSU with nearly 700 victories to his credit. 


Most recently, Chancellor served for 10 years as head coach of the Houston Comets from 1997-2006. During that time, Chancellor was named the WNBA Coach of the Year three times (1997, 1998, 1999) and he led the franchise to the league's first four titles. Under Chancellor's direction, the Comets were the only team in the WNBA to make the playoffs in each of the first seven seasons of the league.


His 1998 Comets team still holds the record for highest winning percentage in the history of NBA and WNBA basketball with a 27-3 mark (.900).


In 10 years with the Comets, Chancellors' teams posted a 211-111 record, which makes him the winningest coach in the history of the league. Chancellor had the distinction of coaching the Western Conference All-Star Team three times during his career and he was also named the coach of the WNBA's All-Decade Team in June of 2006.


As head coach of the Comets, Chancellor produced the WNBA Most Valuable Player five times, the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year three times and the league's most improved player twice.


Before his jump to the professional ranks, Chancellor spent 19 seasons at Ole Miss, developing the Lady Rebels into one of the nation's premier women's basketball programs. As the Ole Miss head coach, Chancellor guided the Lady Rebels to the NCAA Tournament 14 times, which included 11 consecutive appearances from 1982 to 1992.


In 19 years at Ole Miss, Chancellor's teams won at least 20 games 15 times, including a school-record 31 wins in 1978-79. He also led the Lady Rebels to top 20 final rankings 13 times, with top 10 finishes four times (No. 5 in 1992,  No. 6 in 1985, No. 8 in 1987, and No. 10 in 1984).


Chancellor led Ole Miss to the Elite Eight at the NCAA Tournament four times, while his teams made the Sweet 16 on three other occasions.


Chancellor was named the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year three times, including the 1992 season when the Lady Rebels were 29-3 overall and claimed the league's regular season title with a perfect 11-0 mark. That year, the Lady Rebels reached the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight before falling to Southwest Missouri State.


Chancellor played two years of basketball at East Central Junior College in Decatur, Miss., before transferring to Mississippi State, where he earned a bachelor's degree in math and physical education in 1965.


He also entered the coaching ranks during his senior year at Mississippi State, serving as head coach of the boy's basketball team at Noxapater High School. Chancellor went on to coach boy's and girl's basketball at Horn Lake High School and Harrison Central High School in Mississippi. Chancellor received his master's degree in physical education from Ole Miss in 1973.


Born September 27, 1943, in Louisville, Miss., Chancellor and his wife, Betty, have two children, John and Renee, and four grandsons, Nicholas, Jacob, Joseph and Zachary.


A book published in the fall of 1999, "Nothin' But a Champion," chronicles Chancellor's life from his childhood in Mississippi through his third WNBA Championship with the Houston Comets. In addition to his coaching duties, Chancellor has also spent time serving as a television analyst for women's college basketball, working for both ESPN and SEC-TV.




Van Chancellor File


Birthdate:             Sept. 27, 1943


Hometown:         Louisville, Miss.


Wife:                      Betty


Children:              John and Renee


Grandchildren:  Nicholas, Jacob, Joseph and Zachary





Undergraduate: Mississippi State, '65 (Bachelor's in Math and Physical Education)


Graduate:             Ole Miss, '73 (Master's in Physical Education)



Coaching Experience


Head coach at Ole Miss, 1978-97; Head coach of the Houston Comets (WNBA), 1997-2006; Head coach U.S. Olympic Team, 2004; Head Coach USA Basketball Women's World Championship Team, 2002.



Coaching Highlights


Selected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007; Head coach of the United States' gold medal women's basketball team in the 2004 Olympics; Head coach of four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets; Winningest coach in WNBA history with 211 wins; Winningest coach in Ole Miss history with 439 victories; Coached U.S. Women's Basketball team to a 38-0 mark in International competition in 2004; Named WNBA Coach of the Year three times; Named SEC Coach of the Year three times; Named 2002 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year; Led Ole Miss to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, including four Elite Eights and three Sweet 16s; Inducted into Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001; Named 1992 National Women's Basketball Coach of the Year by the Women's Basketball News Service.




Van Chancellor's Head Coaching Record




Year               Team                         Record      Pct.         Notes


1978-79         Ole Miss                   31-9            .775        AIAW State Champions


1979-80         Ole Miss                   23-14         .662       


1980-81         Ole Miss                   14-12         .538


1981-82         Ole Miss                   27-5            .844        NCAA First Round


1982-83         Ole Miss                   26-6            .813        NCAA Second Round


1983-84         Ole Miss                   24-6            .800        NCAA Second Round


1984-85         Ole Miss                   29-3            .906        NCAA Elite Eight


1985-86         Ole Miss                   24-8            .750        NCAA Elite Eight


1986-87         Ole Miss                   25-5            .833        NCAA Sweet 16


1987-88         Ole Miss                   24-7            .774        NCAA Sweet 16


1988-89         Ole Miss                   23-8            .742        NCAA Elite Eight


1989-90         Ole Miss                   22-10         .688        NCAA Sweet 16


1990-91         Ole Miss                   20-9            .690        NCAA First Round


1991-92         Ole Miss                   29-3            .906        NCAA Elite Eight


1992-93         Ole Miss                   19-10         .655       


1993-94         Ole Miss                   24-9            .727        NCAA Second Round


1994-95         Ole Miss                   21-8            .724        NCAA First Round


1995-96         Ole Miss                   18-11         .621        NCAA First Round


1996-97         Ole Miss                   16-11         .593


TOTALS       19 years                    439-154     .740






Year               Team                    Record         Pct.        Playoff Record          Notes


1997               Houston Comets    18-10         .685        2-0                          WNBA Champions


1998               Houston Comets    27-3            .900        4-1                          WNBA Champions


1999               Houston Comets    26-6            .813        4-2                          WNBA Champions


2000               Houston Comets    27-5            .844        6-0                          WNBA Champions


2001               Houston Comets    19-13         .594        0-2                          WNBA Playoffs


2002               Houston Comets    24-8            .750        1-2                          WNBA Playoffs


2003               Houston Comets    20-14         .588        1-2                          WNBA Playoffs


2004               Houston Comets    13-21         .382        0-0


2005               Houston Comets    19-15         .559        2-3                          WNBA Conference Finals


2006               Houston Comets    18-16         .529        0-2                          WNBA Playoffs


TOTALS       10 years                    211-111     .655        20-14    




USA Basketball


Year               Team                                     Event                                                   Record     Finish


2004               U.S. National Team                  Olympics                                             8-0          Gold Medal


2004               U.S. National Team                  Pre-Olympics Exhibition Games              16-0        --


2002               U.S. National Team                  FIBA World Championships                     9-0          Gold


2002               U.S. National Team                  Opals World Challenge                           4-0          1st Place


2002               U.S. National Team                  WBCA All Star Challenge                         1-0


TOTALS                                                                                                                   38-0       

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