Following the coaching carousel, Duke assistant LaVonda Wagner was just
named head coach of Oregon State, while former Duke player and assistant coach
Joanne Boyle left the Richmond head coaching position (her first) for California. Wagner had spent many years as Illinois'
chief recruiter and had the same role at Duke, and the results were
impressive. Several years worth of top-10 classes will be her legacy
here. OSU will be her first head coaching job, and I'm sure she will be
able to tap the considerable local talent (Oregon City's girls basketball
team is a national powerhouse year-in and year-out) in short order. Duke
will be looking to replace her with a coach who specializes in teaching
Meanwhile, Boyle is fresh off an excellent season at Richmond that saw
her Spiders in the top 25. She was already recruiting excellent players
(with top-10 player Crystal Goring a particular shining example), but the
opportunity to coach at a program with considerable resources in a more
competitive league was too much to pass up. In addition, Cal is bringing
in a superb freshman class. The talent in California is perhaps the best
in the country, but much of it has fled to the east in recent years.
Perhaps with her own considerable recruiting skill, Boyle will be able to
reverse that trend.
As an aside, former Duke player and Charlotte coach Katie Meier is
considered to be one of the top candidates for the University of Miami
job. It's long been rumored that she's been dying to get into the ACC
coaching ranks, and having the chance to play in a beautiful new arena
with talents like Tamara James certainly doesn't hurt. Still, Miami fans
are huge frontrunners to begin with and won't likely support a program
that isn't top-notch. Even if they did start to win big, most Miamians
tend to only care about that sport with the funny-shaped ball. There are
other vacancies in the ACC: Jim Davis "resigned" at Clemson after
struggling the past few seasons, and it has been rumored that Boston
College coach Cathy Inglese might be seeking another job as well.