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Gonzaga’s Lisa Fortier named Naismith coach of the year late-season candidate

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 19, 2020

Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier smiles during the Bulldogs’ Senior Night on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, at McCarthey Athletic Center. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier smiles during the Bulldogs’ Senior Night on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, at McCarthey Athletic Center. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga’s Lisa Fortier is one of 15 coaches named Wednesday as a Werner Ladder Naismith women’s coach of the year late-season candidate, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Wednesday.

Fortier, in her sixth year as head coach, has led GU to a 25-2 overall record and a 14-1 mark in the West Coast Conference.

Ranked 13th in the Associated Press media poll, Gonzaga has clinched a 20-win season for the 18th time in program history.

Earlier this year, Gonzaga climbed as high as 11th in the AP poll, the highest in program history

The Bulldogs also have clinched a share of their 16th WCC regular-season title and can claim it outright with a win Thursday night at Loyola Marymount.

Gonzaga is poised for its fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and 11th in the past 12 years.

The Naismith list will be narrowed down to 10 semifinalists on March 4, and the finalists will be revealed on March 19. The winner of the 2020 Werner Ladder Naismith women’s coach of the year will be announced on April 4.

The rest of the Naismith list: Geno Auriemma of Connecticut, Adia Barnes of Arizona, Lisa Bluder of Iowa, Doug Bruno of DePaul, Cori Close of UCLA, former GU coach Kelly Graves of Oregon, Joe McKeown of Northwestern, Wes Moore of North Carolina State, Kim Mulkey of Baylor, Dawn Plitzuweit of South Dakota, Scott Rueck of Oregon State, Dawn Staley of South Carolina, Tara Vanderveer of Stanford and Jeff Walz of Louisville.

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