ATLANTA, GA - Iona College women's basketball head coach Billi Godsey was named one of five finalists for the WBCA 2014 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award, which honors a WBCA Division I head coach who has led his or her team to a successful season during his or her first year at the helm. She joins Bunky Harkleroad (Cal State Sacramento), Dan Burt (Duquesne), Mike Neighbors (Washington) and Megan Gebbia (American).
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 winner will be honored during the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday, April 7, in the Omni Nashville Hotel's Broadway Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention, which is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four®.
"All of these coaches have done a terrific job making an immediate impact at their institution. They will continue to make a difference in the coaching ranks, as well as with the student-athletes they deal with day in and day out," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "I wish these coaches the best of luck at the WBCA Awards Show."
The Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year award is presented 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 the Black Knights' appearance in the NCAA Tournament.