If I were to say "2011-2012 Georgia Tech basketball", I would wager that you would immediately think about the men's program and the struggles that is went through respectively. But you're wrong. We're not here today to talk about the men's team. Instead, we're going to take a few minutes to give the women's team and MaChelle Joseph their due. While we all counted down the days until the basketball season ended, Coach Joseph took her team and got them to yet another record season and NCAA Tournament finish.
Without playing a real home-game, the Georgia Tech women set records in both conference and season win totals. Their hard work paid off with a #3 seed in the NCAA tournament this year, their highest, breaking last year's mark of being a #5. Coach Joseph has them slowly moving up the ladder into the elite programs' dinner table.
Coach Joseph completed her ninth year at Georgia Tech this past season. To be honest, I had no idea she had been there that long. I didn't know a remote thing about women's basketball until I came to the Institute in 2005. Now I feel like I know a few, not many but a few, things, and it's all because of the success that has been achieved by the basketball team. The success experienced by the women's program is indicative of the coaching style and persona that Coach Joseph brings to the court. In her 9 seasons as head coach, Joseph has claimed 179 victories (19.8 per season).
If you watch ESPN, you can't help but know about Baylor, Tennessee, and UCONN women's basketball. It's a small elite band of teams that will always win. It's a steep drop-off from the "elite" to the "good" and "above average" but at the end of every regular season, I see a new record here, a landmark victory there, and I begin to wonder if the gap is closing between those "elites" and Georgia Tech itself. RamblinWreck.com has a great piece on the basketball team in "A Season To Remember By The Numbers" in which it helps us really understand how good this team was that Coach Joseph built.
MaChelle Joseph is the 5th coach in women's basketball history. No one should be looking for the 6th.