Yori named Big 12 Coach of the Year

Lincoln - Nebraska's Connie Yori was named the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Years by her peers the league office announced on Monday afternoon.


Yori, who has guided the Huskers to the first perfect regular season by a men's or women's basketball team since the inception of the league in 1996-97, credited her players for the team's success this season.

"I've got great players to work with every day who have given everything they can to make this program great," Yori said. "I am thankful I get to work with them every day because not every team is like this group. These honors aren't given to coaches because they are smarter than anybody else. They are given because their players buy into team concepts."

Nebraska's eighth-year head coach has the Huskers on the brink of their seventh straight postseason tournament appearance, and has guided NU to its most successful season in program history with a No. 3 national ranking, a 29-0 overall record and a 16-0 conference mark. In addition to giving credit to her players, she also credited her assistant coaches.

"I feel like I have the hardest working coaching staff in the country," Yori said. "They are great role models for our student-athletes in both their work habits and their selflessness."

Nebraska is in position to be one of the most improved teams in NCAA Division I history this year, after managing a 15-16 overall record a year ago while advancing the second round of the 2009 Postseason WNIT. NU has already won 14 more games than last season, while improving by 16 games in the loss column. The NCAA record for the most improved team from one season to the next is held by the 2002 Valparaiso squad (plus-17).

The Huskers could become the first NCAA Division I team in history to be nation's most improved squad the year after advancing to the postseason. NU's 15 wins in 2009 would also represent the most victories the previous season by a most improved team.

Yori, who was the 2002 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year after leading Creighton to the league title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, also thanked the fans for helping to make the atmosphere around Nebraska women's basketball so special this season.

"This has been a special year in part because of our great fans support," Yori said. "The way they have come out in droves has been nothing short of incredible."

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