Nell Fortner

Last updated
Nell Fortner
Nell Fortner.jpg
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Georgia Tech
Conference ACC
Record58–31 (.652)
Biographical details
Born (1959-03-03) March 3, 1959 (age 63)
Jackson, Mississippi
Playing career
1978–1982 Texas
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1983–1986 Killeen HS
1986–1987 Stephen F. Austin (G.A.)
1987–1990Stephen F. Austin (asst.)
1990–1995 Louisiana Tech (asst.)
1995–1996 USA Basketball (asst.)
1996–1997 Purdue
1997–2000USA Basketball
2001–2003 Indiana Fever
2004–2012 Auburn
2019–present Georgia Tech
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1999–2003Indiana Fever (GM)
Head coaching record
Overall220–147 (.599)(College)
42–56 (.429)(WBNA)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
Big Ten champion (1997)
SEC champion (2009)
Awards
Basketball Times National Coach of the Year (1997)
Big Ten Coach of the Year (1997)
USA Basketball Coach of the Year (2000)
University of Texas Women’s Athletics Wall of Honor (2001)
SEC Coach of the Year (2009)
WBCA Region III Coach of the Year (2009)
San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame (2013)
Medal record
Head Coach for Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2000 Sydney Team Competition
Head Coach for Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Pan American Games
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 1999 Winnipeg Team Competition
Head Coach for Flag of the United States.svg  United States
FIBA World Championship for Women
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1998 Berlin Team Competition
Head Coach for Flag of the United States.svg  United States
William Jones Cup
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1998 Taipei Team Competition

Nell Fortner (born March 3, 1959) [1] is the current women's college basketball coach at Georgia Tech. She is most well known for leading the 2000 Olympics team to a gold medal. She has received numerous awards including the 1997 National Coach of the Year, the 2000 USA Basketball Coach of the Year and the 2008 SEC Coach of the Year. In April 2018, she was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. [2]

Contents

Fortner served as a TV analyst for ESPN from 2001-2004 before returning as the head women's basketball coach at Auburn University. In 2013, she returned to ESPN as a TV analyst. [3] In 2019, she was hired as the women's basketball coach at Georgia Tech.

Playing career

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Fortner is a graduate of New Braunfels High School where she was an all-state basketball selection and a Parade All-American. She won a dual scholarship in basketball and volleyball to the University of Texas, where she played from 1978-81. As a starter under coach Jody Conradt, the basketball team compiled a 127-26 record in her 4 seasons. She led Texas to its first national ranking in women’s basketball and a seventh-place finish at the AIAW national tournament. Her 1,466 career points are among the top scoring leaders in school history, and her 142 games played rank her fourth in Texas history. In addition to playing basketball for the Longhorns, she also played for the Texas volleyball team, where, as a middle hitter, she helped lead the Texas volleyball team to the 1981 AIAW National Championship.

While a freshman at UT, Fortner made her USA Basketball debut as a member of the 1978 U.S. Olympic Festival South team, winning a silver medal.

Fortner was appointed to the University of Texas Women’s Athletics Wall of Honor in November 2001. [2]

Coaching career

Fortner has over two decades of experience coaching at the high school, college, pro and international levels. She began her coaching career in the 1983-84 season as the girls basketball coach at Killeen High School in Texas.

Stephen F. Austin

She turned to the college ranks as a graduate assistant under Gary Blair at Stephen F. Austin during the 1986-87 campaign while completing a master's degree in education. She stayed at SFA for three more seasons as an assistant coach, helping guide the Ladyjacks to a remarkable 87-12 (.879) record and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2007, Fortner was honored by Stephen F. Austin with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. [4]

Louisiana Tech

Prior to the 1990-91 NCAA season, Fortner was hired by Hall of Fame coach Leon Barmore at Louisiana Tech, where she spent five years as an assistant coach from 1990-1995. During her tenure at the school, the Lady Techsters compiled a 123-37 (.794) record and made five straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the national championship game in 1994.

Purdue

When Lin Dunn was fired from Purdue University, Fortner was hired to replace her as head coach. In her first year, Fortner led a Purdue team that returned just four players to a Big Ten regular-season conference title in 1996-97, going 17-11 overall and 12-4 in conference play. The season ended in an overtime loss in the second round of the NCAA tournament to #2 ranked Old Dominion, the eventual runner-up. [5] Fortner's efforts earned her Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. She was also named the National Coach of the Year by the Basketball Times. Fortner left the Boilermakers after one season upon being appointed coach of the U.S. women's national team.

National team

Beginning in summer 1995, Fortner took a position with USA Basketball, serving as an assistant coach for one year under Tara VanDerveer. The 1995-96 USA Basketball Women's National Team posted an amazing 52-0 run that culminated with a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. On April 1, 1997, Fortner was named to succeed VanDerveer as the U.S. head coach. [6] She led the USA National Team to gold medals at the 1998 FIBA World Championship and 2000 Olympic Games. [7] Fortner was named the 2000 USA Basketball Coach of the Year. She spent the three years leading up to the Sydney Games traveling the globe, coaching 10 different USA Basketball squads to an impressive 93-14 (.869) overall record as a USA Basketball head coach. She then capped that with a gold medal and a perfect 8-0 record in Sydney, bringing her total USA Basketball head coaching record to 101-14 (.878)., the most wins of any coach in Women's USA Basketball history. [8]

Indiana Fever

On August 17, 1999, Fortner was named the first head coach and general manager of the expansion franchise Indiana Fever of the Women's National Basketball Association. [9] However, as she was already committed to her post as the coach of the United States Olympic Team, she continued coaching Team USA through the 2000 Olympic Games. Assistant coach Anne Donovan served as interim head coach during the 2000 season before Fortner joined the Fever for the 2001 campaign. [9] She lifted the upstart franchise during the 2002 season to a .500 record and a playoff win in the club’s first post-season appearance. She resigned following the 2003 season. During her time in the WNBA, Fortner compiled a 42-56 record.

Auburn

On April 22, 2004, Nell Fortner was named the fifth head coach in Auburn Tigers women's basketball history. [6] [10] She replaced Joe Ciampi, who retired after his 25th season with a school-record 568 victories. Fortner was named the SEC Coach of the Year for the 2008-09 regular season, which saw her team start 20-0 before finishing 27-2 overall and 12-2 in the SEC to win the Southeastern Conference title. [11]

Georgia Tech

In April 2019, Fortner was hired as the women's basketball coach at Georgia Tech. [3]

Head coaching record

NCAA

Statistics overview
SeasonTeamOverallConferenceStandingPostseason
Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten Conference)(1996–1997)
1996–97Purdue 17–1112–4T–1st NCAA Second Round
Purdue:17–11 (.607)12–4 (.750)
Auburn Tigers (Southeastern Conference)(2004–2012)
2004–05Auburn 16–136–8T–6th
2005–06Auburn 14–154–1010th
2006–07Auburn 21–136–89th WNIT Quarterfinals
2007–08Auburn 20–127–76th NCAA First Round
2008–09Auburn 30–412–21st NCAA Second Round
2009–10Auburn 15–165–1110th
2010–11Auburn 16–168–8T–5th WNIT Second Round
2011–12Auburn 13–175–119th
Auburn:145–106 (.578)53–65 (.449)
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Atlantic Coast Conference)(2019–present)
2019–20 Georgia Tech 20–1110–87thPostseason not held
2020–21 Georgia Tech 17–912–63rd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2021–22 Georgia Tech 21–1111–76th NCAA First Round
2022–23 Georgia Tech 11–102–8
Georgia Tech:69–41 (.627)35–29 (.547)
Total:231–158 (.594)

      National champion        Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion        Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion      Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

WNBA

Legend
Regular seasonGGames coachedWGames wonLGames lostW–L %Win–loss %
PlayoffsPGPlayoff gamesPWPlayoff winsPLPlayoff lossesPW–L %Playoff win–loss %
TeamYearGWLW–L%FinishPGPWPLPW–L%Result
IND 2001 321022.3136th in EasternMissed Playoffs
IND 2002 321616.5004th in Eastern312.333Lost in Conference semifinals
IND 2003 341618.4715th in EasternMissed Playoffs
Career984256.429312.333

International

Fortner led the United States women's national basketball team to a 101–14 record, the most wins of any coach in Women’s USA Basketball history.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pat Summitt</span> American basketball player and coach (1952–2016)

Patricia Susan Summitt was an American women's college basketball head coach who accrued 1,098 career wins, the most in college basketball history at the time of her retirement. She served as the head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team from 1974 to 2012.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dawn Staley</span> American basketball player and coach (born 1970)

Dawn Michelle Staley is an American basketball Hall of Fame player and coach, who is currently the head coach for the South Carolina Gamecocks. Staley won three Olympic gold medals with Team USA as a player and later was head coach of another U.S. gold-medal winning team. Staley was elected to carry the United States flag at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics. After playing point guard for the University of Virginia under Debbie Ryan, and winning the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, she went on to play professionally in the American Basketball League and the WNBA. In 2011, fans named Staley one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. Staley was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Teresa Weatherspoon</span> American basketball player and coach

Teresa Gaye Weatherspoon is an American professional basketball coach and former player who serves as assistant coach for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). She played for the New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and served as the head basketball coach of the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters. Weatherspoon was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010, and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019. In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. In 2016, Weatherspoon was chosen to the WNBA Top 20@20, a list of the league's best 20 players ever in celebration of the WNBA's twentieth anniversary.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sheryl Swoopes</span> American basketball player

Sheryl Denise Swoopes is an American former professional basketball player. She was the first player to be signed in the WNBA, is a three-time WNBA MVP, and was named one of the league's Top 15 Players of All Time at the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game. Swoopes has won three Olympic gold medals and is one of eleven women's basketball players to have won an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA Championship, a Fiba world cup gold, and a WNBA title. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2017, she was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

William Leon Barmore is a college women's basketball coach best known for his 35-year association with the Louisiana Tech University Lady Techsters. After five years as an assistant coach, he served as head coach from 1982 to 2002, serving the first three years as co-head coach with Sonja Hogg, who had begun the program in 1974. Upon his retirement, Barmore's .869 winning percentage was the best in major college basketball history. Barmore was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Semeka Chantay Randall-Lay is the current head coach for the Winthrop Eagles women's basketball team. She is also a former collegiate and professional basketball player. She was hired as recruiting coordinator at Wright State in June 2016 after serving as the head coach of the Alabama A&M University women's basketball team for three years. Randall was also head coach of the Ohio Bobcats, from 2008 to 2013. She previously served as an assistant coach of the women's basketball teams at West Virginia University and Michigan State University.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anne Donovan</span> American basketball player and coach

Anne Theresa Donovan was an American women's basketball player and coach. From 2013 to 2015, she was the head coach of the Connecticut Sun.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gail Goestenkors</span> American basketball coach

Gail Ann Goestenkors is an American basketball coach who is currently an assistant coach for the Kentucky Wildcats women's basketball team.

Mickie Faye DeMoss is a former American college basketball coach and player. She was the women's head coach at the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky. She was also an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech University, University of Tennessee, University of Texas, Auburn University, Memphis State University, and the WNBA's Indiana Fever. DeMoss was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018 as a Contributor - Assistant Coach. She retired after 45 years of coaching basketball in some capacity in July 2022, while chief of staff for Georgia Tech women's basketball.

Charlene Thomas-Swinson is an assistant coach for Las Vegas Aces.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stephanie White</span> American basketball player and coach

Stephanie Joanne White is a former professional basketball player and head coach of the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA. She was previously head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores women's basketball team from 2016 to 2021. Prior to Vanderbilt, she was the head coach of the Indiana Fever of the WNBA for the 2015 and 2016 season. As an intercollegiate athlete, she was named the winner of the Wade Trophy in 1999, which recognizes the top female basketball player in the nation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carolyn Peck</span> American basketball player, coach, sports broadcaster

Carolyn Arlene Peck is an American television sportscaster and former college basketball coach. She was the head coach for the women's basketball teams of Purdue University and the University of Florida, and also the first head coach-general manager in the history of the WNBA's Orlando Miracle. Peck was also an associate head coach for her alma mater, Vanderbilt University.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters basketball</span> Womens college basketball team

The Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters basketball team represents Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. The team currently competes in Conference USA. The current head coach of the Lady Techsters is Brooke Stoehr. Louisiana Tech has won three National Championships and has competed in 13 Final Fours, 23 Sweet Sixteens, and 27 NCAA tournaments. The Lady Techsters basketball program boasts three Wade Trophy winners, five Olympic medalists, eight members of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, 16 All-Americans, and 21 WNBA players. The Lady Techsters have an all-time record of 1185–382 with a .756 winning percentage, the fourth-best all-time winning percentage of any NCAA Division I program. The Lady Techsters have made 27 appearances in the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament, which is the ninth most all-time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Auburn Tigers women's basketball</span>

The Auburn Tigers women's basketball program is the intercollegiate women's basketball team that represents Auburn University. The school competes in the Southeastern Conference in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The Tigers play their homes games at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Alabama on the university campus. The program began in 1972.

Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton is a retired American professional basketball player. She attended high school at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, IL. She recently played the forward position for the Washington Mystics in the WNBA.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2009–10 Auburn Tigers women's basketball team</span>

The 2009–10 Auburn Tigers women's basketball team represented Auburn University in the 2009–10 NCAA Division I basketball season, coached by Nell Fortner. The Tigers are a member of the Southeast Conference.

Bernadette Locke-Mattox is a former head coach of the University of Kentucky women's basketball team. While at Kentucky in 1990, she became the first female to serve as assistant coach for a men's NCAA Division I basketball team, when she served under Rick Pitino. She formerly served as an assistant coach with the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA.

Carol Ross is an American college and professional basketball coach. Ross has served as the head women's basketball coach for the University of Florida and the University of Mississippi, and also as the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Texas A&M Aggies women's basketball</span>

The Texas A&M Aggies women's basketball team represents Texas A&M University (TAMU) in NCAA Division I women's basketball. The team is coached by Joni Taylor, entering her first season; she replaced Gary Blair, who retired after 37 years as a collegiate head coach, 19 of which were with TAMU. The Aggies play home games at Reed Arena, a 12,989-capacity arena in College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A&M.

Vicki Hall is an assistant coach with the Indiana Fever since 2021. Before joining the WNBA team, Hall served as the head coach of the Indiana State Sycamores women's basketball team from 2018 to 2021. As a basketball player, Hall was the 1988 Naismith Prep Player of the Year and Gatorade High School Basketball Player of the Year after accumulating 1,755 points with Brebeuf High School. With the Texas Longhorns women's basketball team from 1988 to 1993, Hall reached the final eight of the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament between 1989 and 1990 and had 1,831 career points. Apart from college basketball, Hall won gold at the 1990 FIBA World Championship for Women and the 1990 Goodwill Games with the American women basketball team.

References

  1. "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 25 Sep 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Nell Fortner". Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. 2019-04-09. Retrieved 2022-04-16. she is a member of the University of Texas Women's Athletics Wall of Honor and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame
  3. 1 2 "Fortner leaves analyst job to coach Ga. Tech". ESPN.com. 2019-04-09. Retrieved 2022-04-16.
  4. "Nell Fortner To Receive Distinguished Alumnus Award By Stephen F. Austin This Weekend". Auburn University Athletics. Retrieved 2022-04-16. Nell Fortner will be honored as the recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Alumnus Award by Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association
  5. "1996-97 Facts & Figures, Stats & Stories". PurdueSports.com. 1997. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  6. 1 2 "Fortner hired to lead women's basketball". Auburn.edu. 2004-05-19.
  7. "THIRTEENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN -- 1998". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  8. "Nothin' But Nell". Indianapolis Woman. 2001-06-01.
  9. 1 2 "Fever Franchise History". WNBA.com. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  10. "Auburn hires Fortner as women's basketball coach". USA Today. 2004-04-22.
  11. "SEC CHAMPS: Auburn, Nell Fortner celebrate women's basketball title in style". Birmingham News. 2009-03-01.