Minneapolis - Nebraska's Connie Yori was chosen the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) 2010 RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA NCAA Division I Coach of the Year on Monday.
"This is obviously a great honor for me, and I would like to thank all of the people who have supported and encouraged me throughout my career," Yori said. "This award is less about me and more about our team. I think we have the hardest working coaching staff in the country, and the commitment by my assistants has been unbelievable. Most importantly, this award really recognizes the amazing commitment and hard work of our players not only this year, but the players who came before them and helped build the foundation for our program."
This year marks the 28th year that this accolade has been presented, which has been selected by the WBCA since 1983.
“I would like to personally congratulate Connie Yori for a fantastic season and on behalf of the WBCA, we would like to present her with this honor,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “Connie continues to be a model within the coaching ranks.” Yori is in her eighth season as the head coach of the Huskers and was recently named the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year after leading Nebraska to a 31-1 record (16-0 in the Big 12) for the best season in school history.
The Huskers tied the Big 12 record with a 30-game winning streak this season and set the school record for most wins in a season in the process. Yori’s team won 15 more games this season than the previous. Nebraska became the first Big 12 Conference team to finish a regular season with an unbeaten record (29-0), and just the second Big 12 team to go 16-0 throughout league play.
Yori, who led Nebraska to a No. 1 seed in the Kansas City Region and first-round NCAA Tournament win over Northern Iowa on Sunday night, owns a 152-98 record at NU and a 347-238 mark in 20 seasons overall. She has led Nebraska to a record seven consecutive postseason appearances (2004-10) and three NCAA Tournament appearances (2007, 2008 and 2010).
Yori came to Nebraska after 10 years as the head coach at Creighton University where she finished her career as the 2002 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year after leading Creighton to the NCAA Tournament. Overall, Yori spent 17 seasons at Creighton, including four as a player and three as an assistant coach. Between her time spent as an assistant coach and head coach at Creighton, Yori spent one year as the head softball coach at St. Thomas University where she earned her master’s degree in sports administration. Yori then spent two seasons as the head coach at Loras College.
Yori graduated from Creighton with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1986. As a player for the Bluejays, Yori ranks third on the school’s all-time scoring list with 2,010 points. A 1992 inductee into the Creighton University Athletic Hall of Fame, Yori owns the school record for career scoring average (20.3 ppg). She also owns school game records for points (42) and field goals made (20). Her No. 25 jersey was also retired by Creighton.
Yori is married to Kirk Helms and the couple has a son, Lukas. Yori is active in the community as a volunteer, including serving as the honorary chairperson of the 2006 Race for the Cure.