Williams Named Big Ten Coach of the Year
Nebraska's Amy Williams was named the 2018 Big Ten Women's Basketball Coach of the Year in a vote of conference media and coaches on Monday, Feb. 26.
The second-year Husker head coach has led one of the nation's top turnarounds, guiding the Big Red to a 20-9 overall record that included an 11-5 conference mark to claim the No. 3 seed at this week's Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.
Nebraska has put up a 13-game improvement in the win column over its 7-22 record a year ago - the largest improvement in the nation this season. Although the Huskers finished third in the Big Ten regular-season standings, they entered the final day of the regular season in contention for a share of the Big Ten title just one season after tying for last place in the 14-team league.
Williams, who last week was named one of 10 finalist for the Werner Ladder Naismith National Coach-of-the-Year award, captured her third conference coach-of-the-year honor in the last four seasons. She captured back-to-back Summit League Coach-of-the-Year honors as the head coach at South Dakota in 2015 and 2016 before taking the top job at her alma mater prior to the start of the 2016-17 season.
Williams, who is in her 11th season overall as a collegiate head coach, has produced impressive success at each of her stops. As a second-year coach at Rogers State (NAIA) in 2008-09, she led a five-game improvement in the win column over her first season (13-18) while helping the school make the transition from a junior college program to a four-year team. In her fifth and final year at Rogers State, she led the Hillcats to the NAIA Elite Eight.
In 2012-13, she took over a South Dakota program that managed a 19-16 record in her first season. The next season, she guided the Coyotes to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. In her final year at South Dakota, she led USD to a 32-6 overall record and a 15-1 mark in the Summit League before winning the 2016 Postseason WNIT title. She led South Dakota to regular-season conference titles in 2015 and 2016 after winning the conference tournament title in 2014. She was the Summit League Coach of the Year in both 2015 and 2016.