San Francisco Dons head coach Molly Goodenbour coaches in a game last season. (Christina Leung / Courtesy / USF Dons Athletics)

San Francisco Dons sign women’s basketball coach Molly Goodenbour to extension

The University of San Francisco has announced that women’s basketball coach Molly Goodenbour has been signed to a multi-year extension through 2024.

By going 34-28 over her first two years, Goodenbour became the program’s first head coach to post winning overall and conference records in their first two seasons. She’s also now the winningest coach in USF women’s basketball history through 50 games (27-23).

“Molly has quickly established that she is one of the best coaches in the WCC and all of college basketball,:” athletic director Scott Sidwell said in a statement. “Her fast start at USF with back-to-back winning seasons in the face of some real adversity with injuries and timing of her hiring was a tremendous accomplishment.”

Goodenbour’s predecessor, Jennifer Azzi, guided the Dons to a 40-26 record over her last two seasons on the Hilltop, and a first-round NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015-16. Before that, though, she went 33-88 over her first four seasons.

Goodenbour — like Azzi, a Stanford alumna — coached San Francisco to a fourth-place finish in the West Coast Conference in her first season in 2016-17, a higher finish than Azzi was ever able to achieve (Azzi’s teams finished no higher than sixth), earning the program’s highest WCC Tournament seed (No. 4) since 2002-03.

“I truly enjoy coaching at USF and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to guide the women’s basketball program for the next five years,” Goodenbour said in a statement.

The last time a Dons women’s basketball head coach posted a winning record in her first year was Sue Rojcewicz (1982-83). This past season, the Dons (16-15) finished fifth in the WCC.

Under Goodenbour, the Dons have posted back-to-back team GPAs above 3.40, with a cumulative team GPA of 3.57 in the 2017-18 season.

“We are looking forward to welcoming a strong incoming recruiting class to join our program and elevate our progress,” Sidwell said. “USF women’s basketball is in great hands with Molly at the helm. We are proud to keep her here and look forward to sustained success.”

Goodenbour, who owns a career 256-170 (.601) record as a head coach, and the Dons return strong pieces from the 2017-18 season.  Joining them will be a large contingent of incoming talent. USF will have eight freshman, including seven international signees.

Four of those international players — Julia Nielacna of Poland, Amelie Lander of Denmark, and the twins Marta and Marija Galic from Croatia — have been competing at the u20 level of the FIBA Women’s European Championships. Nielacna led Poland in points (114), rebounds (45), and efficiency per game (13.4), playing in all seven of the games for her country. In August, another newcomer for the Dons, Lucija Kostic, will compete in the u18 Women’s European Championships for Croatia.

In her 10 seasons as a head coach before joining the Dons, Goodenbour made the postseason four times. She previously served as head coach for four years at Cal State Dominguez Hills, where she won two regular-season California Collegiate Athletic Association titles in four years, and one conference tournament title. She made two NCAA Division II Tournaments with the Toros while going 77-44.

Before that, Goodenbour spent four years as the head coach at UC Irvine, going 44-76 from 2008 to 2012. She got her start at Chico State, spending two seasons with the Wildcats, and going 52-11. She reached the NCAA Division II Tournament both years, reaching the third round in 2006-07 and the second round in 2007-08.College SportsMolly Goodenbourncaa women's basketballsan francisco dons

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