Connie Yori, who completed her eighth season at the helm of the Huskers in 2009-10, becomes the first Big 12 Conference coach to win the Naismith award. On Tuesday, Yori was named the inaugural winner of the Kay Yow Award, after being the named the Associated Press National Coach of the Year over the weekend. She was also named the WBCA and U.S. Basketball Writers Association National Coach of the Year.
The 2010 Big 12 Coach of the Year led the Huskers to a 32-2 overall record in 2009-10, representing a 17-game improvement in the win column from the Huskers' 2008-09 record (15-16). Yori led Nebraska to a Big 12 record-tying 30-game winning streak and set the school record for most wins in a season in the process. 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 through league play. Nebraska earned a No. 1 seed in the Kansas City Region and its first-ever trip to the NCAA Sweet 16.
"This is 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."
Yori owns a 153-99 record in eight seasons at NU and a 349-239 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).
Other finalists included Geno Auriemma (University of Connecticut), Pat Summitt (University of Tennessee) and Tara VanDerveer (Stanford University).
Yori was chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's National Voting Academy, a collection of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, which based its criteria on coaching performances throughout the season. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP. HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States.
"Connie did a remarkable coaching job to not only greatly improve over last season but to position her team among the nation's best this year," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "We congratulate her tremendous success and proudly honor her as a Naismith Award winner."