Bruno was voted by C-USA's 14 head coaches as the Coach of the Decade while junior Khara Smith and former All-American Lenae Williams were named to the league's All-Decade team.
IRVING, Texas - Conference USA is celebrating its 10th anniversary during the 2004-05 season. In conjunction, the league is naming a Team of the Decade for each of the conference's 19 sports. Women's Basketball is the latest sport to have its All-Decade team released and the squad is led by former Houston star Chandi Jones, a three-time C-USA Player of the Year, who was named the Player of the Decade. The Women's Basketball Coach of the Decade award was won by DePaul's Doug Bruno, who led the Blue Demons to their second regular season title this season. Voting on the awards was done by each of the league's current women's basketball coaches.
DePaul and Tulane were the only schools to produce multiple members of the team with two players apiece. Seven other schools had one representative on the squad. Former All-American Lenae Williams was joined by 2004-05 C-USA Preseason Player of the Year Khara Smith to represent DePaul on the league’s All-Decade team.
Bruno and the Blue Demons enter the annual C-USA Tournament this Friday as the No. 1 seed after winning the league’s regular-season championship. He also guided his 1995-96 squad to the league’s inaugural regular-season title. He is one of four league coaches that has coached in all 10 seasons of Conference USA and holds a career record of 346-208 in 19 seasons at DePaul.
"This award is a DePaul University award. Coaches are only as good as the people that surround them. DePaul University has provided fantastic administrative support starting with our President's, Fr. Minogue and Fr. Holtschneider and continuing through one of the nation's best AD's in Jean Lenti Ponsetto, and all of her athletic department support staff,” said Bruno.
"I have been blessed to have been surrounded by great assistant coaches, specifically our current staff of Maggie Dixon, Candis Blankson, Samantha Williams and Jana Mathis. Illinois-Chicago head coach Lisa Ryckbosch also poured 11 years of blood and sweat into the DePaul program as an assistant."
"The DePaul players of the last 10 years are the true recipients of this award. Teams succeed because they are talented, but more importantly because they are committed to each other and to a purpose beyond themselves,” said Bruno. “I have been very, very lucky to have been able to coach so many great young women and owe them all the credit for this achievement."
C-USA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACH OF THE DECADE
Doug Bruno, DePaul (1976-78, 1988-present)
Has won two regular season C-USA championships, made four NCAA appearances and three WNIT appearances in the 10 years that DePaul has been a member of the league. As a head coach, he has led DePaul to 13 postseason appearances, including a C-USA-best nine NCAA Tournament bids. A total of 70 student-athletes have earned conference academic honors with three Conference USA Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Has produced 10 student-athletes have been named to C-USA Postseason All-Conference teams a total of 19 times, including the 1997 Player of the Year (Kim Williams), 2003 Freshman of the Year (Khara Smith) and 1996 Sixth Player of the Year (Kris Booker).
C-USA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ALL-DECADE TEAM
Chandi Jones, Houston (2000-04) - PLAYER OF THE DECADE
A four-time all-Conference Performer (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004).... 2004 Kodak All-American....Three time C-USA Player of the Year (2002, 2003, 2004).... Third fastest player in NCAA history to reach 2,000-point milestone in just 84 games,....Became C-USA all-time scoring leader with 21 points in Houston's win at ECU on Feb. 15, 2004 with 2,692 points. Reached double digit points in an NCAA-record 114 consecutive games, every game of her collegiate career in Houston.
Valerie King, Cincinnati (2001-2004)
Fourth in C-USA history in scoring (2,156) ... owns C-USA records for single-game scoring (46), career three-pointers (338), single-season three-pointers (101) and tournament game three-pointers (7) ... the third Bearcat ever to score over 2,000 career points, behind Oscar Robertson (2,973) and Cheryl Cook (2,367) ... first player to earn four All-C-USA Tournament honors and first Bearcat to earn three all-conference awards ... third in NCAA Division I history in three-pointers, eighth in free throw percentage (.866) and 20th in three-pointers per game (2.68) ... 2002 All-American ... listed in top five of six C-USA career categories ... owns 11 school records ... winner of five C-USA Player of the Week awards.
Khara Smith, DePaul (2001-present)
2004-05 C-USA Preseason Player of the Year... 2003 C-USA Freshman of the Year and third-team honoree... first team All-Conference USA in 2004 and eight-time C-USA Player of the Week winner... one of three players in C-USA history with a career field goal percentage higher than .600... one of five players in DePaul history with at least 1,400 points and 800 rebounds... will finish this season ranked in DePaul's top 10 in nine categories.
Lenae Williams, DePaul (1998-02)
Four-time All-Conference USA honoree... first team in 2002 and honorable mention All-American... second team in 2000 and 2001... All-Freshman honoree in 1999... ranked in the top 15 in eight C-USA career categories... 330 career three-pointers rank second in league history and seventh in the NCAA recordbook... one of two players in DePaul history with over 2,000 points... C-USA Tournament record of 38 points on Mar. 2, 2001.
Sara Nord, Louisville (2000-04)
A four time first team All C-USA selection (2001-04)...2001 C-USA All-Freshman team selection....Finished ranked third all-time in scoring with 1,645, ranking her 12th in C-USA...First team freshman All-American by WBNS and Women's College Hoops.com....2004 WBCA/Kodak honorable mention All-American...Honorable mention All-American by AP...holds school record and C-USA record with 852 career assists and a 7.2 average ...holds school record for three-point field goal percentage made in a game (8) and season (98)...Ranks seventh in C-USA and fifth at Louisville in career three-point field goal percentage
Abbie Willenborg, Marquette (1996-2000)
A second-team All-American by the Women's Basketball News Service in 1999-2000....Three-time first-team All-Conference USA pick (1998, 1999, 2000).... three-time C-USA Player-of-the-Week selection and was named to the 1997 C-USA All-Tournament Team....led Marquette to four NCAA Tournament appearances and two regular season C-USA titles....is Marquette's all-time leading scorer and eighth in C-USA history with 1,818 points and she is the school's and the league's second all-time leading rebounder with 1,167 rebounds.
Tamika Whitmore, Memphis (1995-99)
Second-leading scorer in Memphis history...powered the Tigers to two C-USA Championships (1996, 1998)...Twice named the C-USA Player of the Year...With Whitmore on the roster, Memphis played in three NCAA Tournaments and one WNIT... Posted 2,488 career points and 45 double-doubles... second in C-USA with a 60.6 career FG%, 1st in FGM (974) and 2nd in scoring...a three-time All-Conference honoree and was an AP All-American Second Team (1999) and Honorable Mention (1998) in addition to a WBCA/Kodak All-America Honorable Mention (1998)... a C-USA All-Freshman honoree in 1996... drafted by the WNBA's New York Liberty in the 3rd round in 1999 and is currently a member of the Los Angeles Sparks.
Sandora Irvin, TCU (2001-05)
An Honorable Mention Associated Press and Kodak/WBCA All-American in 2004, the first in school history...Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004...C-USA Third, Second and First Team member in 2002, 2003 and 2004...All-time leading rebounder and shot blocker in C-USA history and currently eight blocks from becoming the all-time leader in NCAA Division I history (as of Jan. 25, 2005)...C-USA Tournament MVP in 2003 and All-Tournament Team member in 2004...Holds school records for points, rebounds, blocks, scoring average, rebounding average, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws made and free throws attempted and should own the record for games started by the end of the season.
Grace Daley, Tulane (1996-2000)
A three-time All-American ... Third-Team AP All-America in 2000 and honorable mention in 1999 ... Honorable mention on the WBCA/Kodak squad in 1998, 1999, 2000 ... tallied over 550 points, 100 rebounds and 70 assists in each All-America campaign ... 2000 C-USA Player of the Year ... three-time first-team All-C-USA pick ... 1999 C-USA Tournament MVP ... Tulane's career points leader with 2,249, which ranks fourth in C-USA ... Tulane and C-USA's career leader for free throws made (578) ... second in Tulane history for points per game (18.4), field goals (747), three-pointers (187) and steals (289) ... scored a school-record 692 points during the 1999-2000 season ... drafted fifth in the 2000 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx, the second college player selected.
Janell Burse, Tulane (1997-2001)
Two-time All-American, earning accolades from the Women's Basketball Journal and AP in 2000 and from the Women's Basketball News Service and the WBCA in 2001 ... three-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Year (1999, 2000, 2001), C-USA Tournament MVP and Sixth Player of the Year in 1999 ... two-time first-team All-C-USA selection ... in her All-America campaigns, averaged 18.9 points and 10.3 rebounds per game ... Tulane's career blocks leader with 248, which ranks second in C-USA history ... school single-season records for rebounds (342 in 2000-01), rebounds per game (10.7 in 2000-01) and blocks (80 in 1999-00) ... drafted by the Minnesota Lynx in 2001.
Deanna Jackson, UAB (1998-02)
Only player in Conference USA to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career ... A two-time all-conference selection (1999-00, 2000-01) ... 1998-99 Freshman of the Year and 2001-02 Honorary Conference Player of the Year ... Second all-time at UAB with 2,144 career points despite playing only 11 games as a senior ... UAB's career leader in three different categories (rebounds, rebound average and blocked shots) ... Was the eighth overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft, taken by Cleveland.