By Nate Perry, TTU Sports Information
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Women's basketball coach Kim Rosamond has added a second Coach of the Year honor to her resume for the 2018-19 season, as the Tennessee Sports Writers Association crowned Tech's third-year bench boss its Women's Basketball Coach of the Year on Tuesday.
"Thank you to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association for recognizing our team and staff with this tremendous honor," said Rosamond. "We are grateful to live in a state where the women's basketball community is one of the best in the country – from the media that covers the game, to the fanbases that pack the arenas, to the level of talent we face in opposing coaches and players on a nightly basis. This award is a testament to an outstanding group of players, coaches and support staff who have worked extremely hard to create a winning environment on and off the court at Tennessee Tech."
The distinction from the TSWA further highlights the renaissance season engineered by Rosamond and her staff, one that saw the Golden Eagles post a 22-11 record, a 12-6 Ohio Valley Conference standing and a fourth-place slotting in the final league standings, which bested its seventh-place preseason prediction.
Beyond that, the team qualified for the OVC Tournament for the second time in Rosamond's three years, and, with a victory over Austin Peay, won a game in the tournament for the first time since 2013.
The impressive year-end resume landed the Golden Eagles in the Women's Basketball Invitational, the program's first national postseason berth since 2011-12. With an opening-round victory over Akron in the Hooper Eblen Center, they scored their first win in such setting since 2006.
The 22 overall wins were the program's highest total since the 2010-11 season, and equated to an improvement of plus-15 on Tech's 7-22 mark in 2017-18, making it the third-largest single-season win increase in Division I women's basketball this past year. Twelve OVC wins and a fourth-place finish matched Tech's best marks since 2012-13.
Tech also won nine true road contests on the year, and with a mark of 9-5 in enemy territory, took the league's second-best record. The nine wins away from home were nearly double the combined total from Rosamond's first two seasons (5).
Huge moments during the season included a trio of victories over in-state rivals Belmont, Middle Tennessee and UT Martin, which made Rosamond the first Tech coach since Marynell Meadors in 1979-80 to beat all three in the same campaign.
Statistically, the Louisville, Miss. native oversaw significant gains in nearly every category, highlighted by a scoring offense that put up 69.6 points per game compared to a combined 61.1 per game over the first two years of her tenure.
Providing a boost to the Golden Eagle attack was the ability to get to the free-throw line, where the Golden Eagles finished eighth in NCAA Division I in free-throw percentage (77.6 percent), 11th in free throws made (503), and 39th in free throws attempted (648). The 77.6 percent clip from the foul line led the Ohio Valley, while the marks for makes and attempts ranked second.
"This recognition is truly about the shared teamwork of a special group of players and coaches," expressed Rosamond. "I can't give enough credit to Coach (Melanie) Walls, Coach (Allison) Clark and Coach (Courtney) Strauthers, as well as our support staff for their leadership and hard work this past season. At the end of the day, players drive winning programs, and what these young women have accomplished in a short, three-year span has been inspiring."
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information