ATLANTA, Ga. - The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) has selected Ball State University women's basketball head coach Kelly Packard as the recipient of the 2009 Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award. This distinguished award honors a WBCA Division I head coach who has led their team to a successful season during their first year at the helm.
“We would like to honor Kelly Packard with this year’s Maggie Dixon award as she has elevated Ball State University to new levels in just her first year,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “We had a terrific pool of first-year head coaches, but Kelly Packard stood out above the rest, and we wish her much success at Ball State in the future.”
Packard became the first coach in Ball State’s women basketball history to win 26 games in a rookie season. She led the Cardinals to their best ever overall and home records, 26-9 and 14-1, respectively. Ball State also had its best Mid-America Conference showing, turning in a 14-2 ledger. Packard coached senior guard Porchia Green first team All-Mid-American Conference and MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors.
In her first season Packard guided Ball State to its third straight MAC West Division title, its first MAC Tournament championship and its first NCAA Tournament berth. Packard stunned the women's basketball world when she coached her team to a first round win in the NCAA tournament against two time defending national champions, the University of Tennessee, 71-55. With the win Ball State managed to extend its win streak to 12 straight victories which was the longest win streak in program history.
Packard will be honored at the RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA National Coach of the Year Luncheon on Monday, April 6, 2009, at 1 p.m. CT in the Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront Grand Ballroom. The luncheon is part of the WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAAŽ Women's Final FourŽ in St. Louis, Mo.
The Maggie Dixon 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.