ATLANTA – The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today that University of Louisville women's basketball head coach Jeff Walz is one of 10 coaches in the running for the 2018 Werner Ladder Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year honor.
From this list, the Naismith Awards master voting academy will select the four finalists, to be announced on March 14. The 2018 Werner Ladder Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year will be announced on March 31.
Walz has led the Cardinals to a program-best 27-2 start despite returning just two starters from a team that went 29-8 and reached the Sweet 16 a year ago.
Louisville won its first 20 games this season, which set a program record for consecutive wins to start the year, and following its 100-67 win over then-No. 2 Notre Dame, moved up to No. 2 in the Associated Press poll, its highest ranking ever.
At 13-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, the Cardinals are two wins away from clinching their first-ever ACC title and their first regular-season conference title since claiming the 2001 C-USA crown.
Already the winningest coach in Louisville women's basketball history, the Cardinals' win at North Carolina on Sunday marked the 289th of Walz's career, moving him just 11 wins shy of the 300-win milestone.
The Cardinals return home for their annual Play4Kay game against Virginia tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET. Coach Walz has pledged to donate $1 to the Kay Yow Fund for every fan over 10,000.
Fans will be able to support their favorite coach by visiting naismithtrophy.com/vote between March 19-30 to cast their ballot. The fan vote accounts for five percent of the overall final vote.
"This has been a remarkable college basketball season thus far, and these 10 semifinalists have proven themselves worthy of being considered for the Werner Ladder Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year," said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
"Werner is thrilled to be presenting the semifinalists for the Naismith Women's Coach of the Year," said Chris Filardi, vice president of marketing at WernerCo. "These coaches set an incredible example both on and off the court."
Werner Ladder Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year Semifinalists
NAME SCHOOL CONFERENCE
Karen Aston Texas Big 12
Geno Auriemma UCONN AAC
Kelly Graves Oregon Pac-12
Muffet McGraw Notre Dame ACC
Kim Mulkey Baylor Big 12
Robin Pingeton Missouri SEC
Vic Schaefer Mississippi State SEC
Joni Taylor Georgia SEC
Jeff Walz Louisville ACC
Amy Williams Nebraska Big Ten