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The Women's Basketball HC Search

Two sources are reporting that UF is interviewing former Gator Amanda Butler in their search for a replacement for Carolyn Peck.

The Gainesville Sun:

It was unclear if Butler, who was unavailable for comment, was offered the job Thursday. Foley and Florida senior women's administrator Lynda Tealer have said they will not comment on the specifics of the coaching search until it is completed.

Butler would be a natural fit given her ties. Butler completed her four-year Florida playing career in 1995 at which point she became an assistant under Carol Ross until 1997. Butler graduated as the school's second-leading career assists leader. She also ranked among the top five in career 3-pointers made and 3-point field percentage.

Andy Staples Gators Blog:
The (Charlotte) Observer reported that Charlotte athletic director Judy Rose confirmed that Florida officials had received permission to speak to Butler about the Gators' head coaching vacancy. In two seasons at the helm in Charlotte, Butler, 35, led the 49ers to a 40-22 record and a pair of WNIT berths. Butler was named the Atlantic 10 coach of the year in her first season as a head coach.

Butler has been mentioned several times in rumors and speculation since the beginning of this head coaching search, most notably because of her ties to the Florida Gators and Gainesville. Throw in the fact that she's been successful at UNC-Charlotte, and combine it with the fact that she's young and up-and-coming, it sounds to me as if she fits the mold of say, a certain men's coach we've come to love at UF.

I think that Butler would be an excellent hire for the Gators -- giving the job to a former player and a proven coach who has shown she can be successful in women's college basketball.

Now, if Butler isn't the one that will be roaming the sidelines next season for our Lady Gators, who should UF go after?  I'm pretty sure that Jeremy Foley and the administration will be going after a female candidate, but Florida Gulf Coast University head coach Karl Smesko is 98-20 at the helm, and led the Eagles to the division II championship game this season.

I'm no women's basketball expert.  I hardly know anything about it -- but the guy has done a great job at FGCU.  I know it's division II and all that, but his career winning percentage as a college coach is .770.  Not bad if you ask me.

Update [2007-4-14 17:47:58 by Mark]: It's official. UF hired Butler as the head coach of the Lady Gators yesterday. Time to move on with the program and hope we see some winning ways come about in Gainesville.