hired to lead women's basketball
Auburn interim President Ed Richardson announced April
22 that Nell Fortner has been named head women's basketball
coach. Fortner, who served as the head coach for the 2000
United States gold medal women's basketball team, becomes
the fifth coach in Auburn women's basketball history.
am extremely excited about the opportunity to coach at Auburn,"
said Fortner. "I thank the Auburn family for entrusting
me with their program. Joe (Ciampi) had a tremendous career
at Auburn and I am honored to follow in his footsteps. I can't
wait to get started."
was named head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team Program
on April 1, 1997 and spent the next three years traveling
the globe, coaching 10 different U.S. squads to a 93-14 (.869)
overall record. From gold at the 1998 World Championships
to gold in the 2000 Olympics, Fortner lead the U.S. Women's
National Program to a 101-14 three-year record, the most wins
of any coach in Women's USA Basketball history.
selection of Nell Fortner to lead our women's basketball program
indicates the University's ongoing commitment to both winning
basketball and excellence in the classroom," said Richardson.
"Coach Fortner has compiled an impressive record at both
the collegiate and Olympic levels. She has a thorough understanding
of the game and the unique needs of student athletes. On behalf
of all of our fans, I am pleased to welcome her to Auburn."
head coach at Purdue in 1997, Fortner led the Boilermakers
to a share of the Big Ten regular season title with a team
that returned just four players. Fortner guided Purdue to
a 12-4 conference mark and 17-11 overall record and a second
round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. She was named National
Coach of the Year by Basketball Times and the Big 10 Coach
of the Year.
spent the last three seasons as the head coach and general
manager of the WNBA's Indiana Fever where she compiled a 42-56
record, leading the team to an appearance in the 2002 WNBA
Eastern Conference playoffs.
2001, Fortner has also served as an ESPN studio analyst during
the winter season and through each of the last four NCAA Tournaments.
pleased to welcome Nell Fortner to the Auburn family,"
said Hal Baird, Athletic Assistant to the President. "She
brings outstanding credentials with her professional, Olympic
and collegiate coaching experience. We believe she will be
a great addition to our department, University and community."
in the summer of 1995, Fortner served as an assistant for
two seasons to 1996 Olympic coach Tara VanDerveer. During
that span, Team USA posted a 52-0 run that culminated with
a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
1991-95, Fortner was an assistant at Louisiana Tech staff
under Hall of Fame coach Leon Barmore. During Fortner's tenure,
Louisiana Tech posted a record of 123-37 and made five consecutive
appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including a trip to the
National Championship game in 1994.
1982 graduate of the University of Texas, Fortner began her
coaching career as the girls basketball coach at Killeen High
School in Texas. In 1987, Fortner served as a graduate assistant
at Stephen F. Austin while she completed a master's degree
in education. As an assistant coach from 1988-90 at SFA, she
helped lead the Ladyjacks to an 87-12 record and three consecutive
NCAA Tournament appearances.
native of Jackson, Miss., Fortner played at the University
of Texas from 1978-81 and helped guide the Longhorns to a
127-26 record during her four seasons. She led Texas to its
first national ranking in women's basketball and a seventh-place
finish at the AIAW National Tournament. She also played middle
hitter for the Texas volleyball team and helped lead the Longhorns
to the 1981 AIAW national championship.
was appointed to the University of Texas Women's Athletics
Wall of Honor and the Texas Hall of Fame in November 2001.
replaces Joe Ciampi who retired after 25 seasons at the helm
of the Auburn program.