Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame tabs Fahey for induction

First NCAA Division III coach or athlete selected; among a class that includes Robin Roberts, Dawn Staley

Washington University in St. Louis head women’s basketball coach Nancy Fahey is a five-time NCAA Division III national champion, the all-time winningest coach in Division III history and boasts one of the best winning percentages in NCAA women’s basketball history. Now, she will be able to add Hall of Famer to her list of accomplishments as she will be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2012.

The announcement was televised live on ABC Saturday, July 23, and came during halftime of the 2011 WNBA All-Star game in San Antonio, Texas.

Fahey will be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Knoxville, Tenn., along with players Nikki McCray, Pam McGee, Inge Nissen and Dawn Staley. Broadcaster and former player Robin Roberts is entering as a contributor. Including the Class of 2012, Fahey will become one of just 127 individuals to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame since the inaugural class in 1999.

Fahey Download hi-res

“I am excited, honored and humbled to be recognized by the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame,” Fahey says. “Basketball is a team sport, and it truly took a team effort for this to happen. All of the administrative support staff at Washington University, my assistant coaches and, most importantly, the players have played a role in this and I am honored to share this on behalf of all of them.”

Fahey, who is the first Division III coach or student-athlete to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, has enjoyed one of the most spectacular careers in NCAA history. In 25 seasons roaming the sideline at WUSTL, she has accrued a career record of 596-106 (.859), and her career-winning percentage ranks fourth all-time in NCAA women’s basketball history.

“In 1986, Nancy Fahey was selected as Washington University’s head women’s basketball coach, and in 2011 she was selected to join a distinguished group in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame,” says John Schael, director of athletics. “In between that time, she has brought tremendous acclaim to Washington University, women’s basketball and to herself.”

From 1998-2001, Fahey guided the Bears to four-straight NCAA Division III national championships — including back-to-back undefeated national championship seasons in 1998-99 and 1999-2000, racking up a winning streak of 81 straight games in the process, a record that stood as the longest winning streak in women’s basketball history.

Over 25 seasons, Fahey has coached in an NCAA Division III-record 10 Final Fours and nine national championship games. Her first Final Four run came in 1991, and she reached the national championship game for the first time in 1994, before the stretch of four-straight national titles began four years later.

WUSTL reached the national championship game once again in 2007, beginning a stretch in which the Bears played in the Final Four in four of five seasons. WUSTL won a fifth national championship in 2010, and fell in the national championship game this past season.

A 1981 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. where she was a four-year women’s basketball letterwinner, Fahey came to WUSTL in 1986 after coaching four years at Johnsburg High School in McHenry, Ill.

She has led the Bears to 18 University Athletic Association (UAA) championships and has been named the UAA Coach of the Year a record 17 times. Fahey was tabbed as the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division III National Coach of the Year in 2000, and received the honor once again in 2011.

The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2012 will be formally introduced at the State Farm Tip-Off Classic. The official date of the 2012 Induction Ceremony in Knoxville will be announced later by the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.