NASHVILLE, TN - Iona College women's basketball head coach Billi Godsey was named the WBCA Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year, it was announced Monday evening at the WBCA Awards Show held on the eve of the women's national championship game.
"I am honored and excited for our program to earn this award,” said Godsey. “I’d like to thank my players, coaching staff and the Iona administration for making my first season at Iona so memorable. Maggie Dixon became an incredible ambassador of the game in a very short time, and I am truly humbled to receive an award named in her honor."
"It can be overwhelming during a head coach's rookie season, but Billi has done a tremendous job at the helm of the Iona College program and will continue to have success," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "We are proud to present Billi with the Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year award."
"Coach Godsey's stellar inaugural season at Iona and her smooth transition at the helm of a Division I program represent what the award and Coach Dixon embody," said Paul Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Spalding, who sponsors the award. "Coach Godsey's hard work, passion for the game and successful coaching have rightly earned her the Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year."
The Rookie Coach of the Year award is the third award this postseason for Godsey, who was also named College Sports Madness Mid-Major Coach of the Year and the 2014 MAAC Coach of the Year. Godsey becomes the first coach in MAAC history to claim the honor.
In her first season with the Gaels, Godsey led Iona to a program record 26 wins and a share of the MAAC Regular Season Championship. Her 26 wins are the most by a rookie head coach in conference history.
In 2013-14, Godsey led Iona to a historic 18-game winning streak, the longest in school history. She became the first rookie coach to win the MAAC Coach of the Year honor since 1991 and led all first-time head coaches in NCAA Division I with 26 overall wins and 18 victories in conference play. Godsey came to New Rochelle after a two-year stint as assistant coach at Virginia Tech.
The Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award is 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.
The spirit of Maggie Dixon will live through this award and its recipients who, by their selection, have demonstrated both the on-court successes as well as the enrichment to the lives of those around them.
Other finalists for the award included: Bunky Harkleroad (Cal State Sacramento), Dan Burt (Duquesne), Mike Neighbors (Washington) and Megan Gebbia (American).