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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Bonvicini let go

    Arizona womens basketball coach Joan Bonvicini is hoisted by guards Malia ONeal, left, and Joy Hollingsworth after her 600th career win on Feb. 8, 2007 in McKale Center. Bonvicini will not serve the final year of her contract next season.
    Arizona women’s basketball coach Joan Bonvicini is hoisted by guards Malia O’Neal, left, and Joy Hollingsworth after her 600th career win on Feb. 8, 2007 in McKale Center. Bonvicini will not serve the final year of her contract next season.

    Arizona women’s basketball head coach Joan Bonvicini will not coach the team next season in the final year in her contract, UA athletics director Jim Livengood announced Monday.

    The Wildcats’ head coach since the 1991-92 season finished her 17th season with the UA last week, compiling an 287-223 overall record. The 2007-08 team finished 10-20 with a 4-14 mark in the Pacific 10 Conference, good for an eighth place tie in the conference.

    “”I want to thank Joan for her service to the University of Arizona, to the women’s basketball program and to the Tucson community. She has been a great ambassador for the athletic department,”” Livengood said in a press release.

    “”We’ll begin a national search for Joan’s successor immediately,”” he added.

    The Wildcats have gone 19-63 (11-43 Pac-10) over the past three seasons after tying for first place in the Pac-10 in 2005 with a 24-9 record, 14-4 in the conference. It was good enough for a third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

    That was also the year that the program lost its star player, Shawntinice Polk, and the team was never the same.

    In Bonvicini’s 17 seasons, Arizona made seven NCAA tournaments, with the 1997-98 team advancing to the NCAA East Regional in and finishing 23-7. Her fifth team in 1995-96 won the WNIT Championship and the 2000-01 team also was invited to the WNIT, advancing to the second round.

    “”I want to thank the University of Arizona for the opportunity to coach here,”” Bonvicini said in the press release. “”The UA is a great university and I have had the pleasure of coaching some wonderful student-athletes who have been an inspiration to me.

    “”I also want to thank all the assistant coaches who have been great stuff members and friends to me personally and to our program,”” she added. “”Our support staff has been great and very instrumental to the success of our team.””

    An accomplished collegiate player at Southern Connecticut State, Bonvicini’s overall college record as a coach, including 12 years at Long Beach State prior to taking the UA job, is 612-294. She was 325-71 in her tenure at LBSU, including NCAA clubs her last 10 seasons, with two Final Fours and six Regional appearances. She is the winningest coach in UA women’s history and became the 18th coach in Division I history to reach the 600-victory milestone in February 2007.

    “”I have had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but I also feel I have worked with wonderful people during my years here,”” Bonvicini said.

    “”I would also like to thank all the TopCats who have been extremely faithful and supportive in watching our games and being a part of our program over the years,”” she added, “”and the fans in Tucson have made me feel so welcome.””

    – Arizona Daily Wildcat


    Joan Bonvicini at Arizona

    Year Overall League

    1992 9-19 3-15, T-9th

    1993 13-14 7-11, 8th

    1994 15-12 8-10, 7th

    1995 11-19 6-12, 7th

    1996 22-8 10-8, T-3rd WNIT Title

    1997 23-8 12-6, T-4th NCAA 2nd

    1998 23-7 14-4, T-2nd NCAA Regional

    1999 18-11 12-6, 4th NCAA 2nd

    2000 25-7 13-5, T-2nd NCAA 2nd

    2001 20-12 9-9, 5th WNIT 2nd

    2002 14-14 10-8, T-6th

    2003 *22-9 13-5, T-2nd NCAA

    2004 24-9 14-4, T-1st NCAA

    2005 20-12 11-7, 5th NCAA 2nd

    2006 8-22 3-15, 9th

    2007 11-21 4-14, 8th

    2008 10-20 4-14, T-8th

    Total 287-223 152-152

    Overall 612-294 (.675), 29 years

    *not credited with two games missed away from program

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