It was another spectacular season for the women's basketball
program. The team won at least 20 games (21-8) for
the fifth straight year and earned its third straight Patriot
League championship. The 72-58 win over Navy in the championship
game of the Patriot League Tournament on March 3 earned Holy
Cross a #14 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a first round
match up with eventual national runner-up Duke.
In addition to the team's success, a number of individuals earned honors as
well. For the second consecutive season senior captain Amy O'Brien was
unanimously selected as the Patriot League Player of the Year. O'Brien,
who is just the second women's player in school history to top the 2,000 point
mark and the only one to score more than 2,000 points in Division I action,
finishes her career as the Patrtiot League's all-time leading scorer (2,056). In
addition to another stellar season on the court, O'Brien had another fine year
in the classroom. For the second consecutive year, she has earned a spot
on the GTE Academic All-America Second Team. In addition, O'Brien was
last year's Patriot League Female Scholar-Athlete of the year and is a likely
candidate for both that award and the coveted Crusader of the Year award this
O'Brien was not the only Crusader to be honored this year. Head Coach Bill
Gibbons received Patriot League Coach of the Year honors for the second
time in three seasons.
Holy Cross athletic director Richard M. Regan,
Jr. '76 introduced Ralph Willard '67 as the new head coach of the Crusader
men's basketball team.
"We had a lot of quality coaches apply for
this position," Regan said. "And I knew we'd be able to find someone who had
demonstrated they could win and would make a commitment to Holy Cross. We've
found that in Ralph Willard."
Willard becomes just the 14th head coach in the 80-year
history of the program. The seventh Holy Cross graduate to hold the position,
he will also serve as an
assistant athletic director.
Willard, who agreed to a six-year contract, will be
asked to turn around a Crusader team that has won just 22 of its 89 games over
the past three seasons. He replaces
Bill Raynor, who posted a 54-83 mark as Crusader coach over the previous five