By wpengine

Butler named ACC Coach of the Year

Two years after being fired by Florida on her 45th birthday, Mt. Juliet native Amanda Butler was named Atlantic Coast Conference women’s basketball coach of the year – on her 47th birthday.

Butler guided Clemson to an 18-11 regular season, the Tigers’ first winning campaign following 14 straight losing seasons. At 9-7, Clemson is seeded No. 7 for the conference tournament, eight spots ahead of its preseason prediction and eight wins more than last year’s mark, the biggest turnaround in wins by a first-year coach in ACC history.

Butler, who brought in just two new players after being hired a year ago, is also one of 15 candidates for Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year.

Gardner repeats as SoCon’s top coach

Mt. Juliet native Susie Gardner has been named Southern Conference women’s basketball Coach of the Year for the second straight season. Her Mercer Bears have won four straight SoCon regular season championships and 34 straight conference regular-season games covering the past two seasons. Mercer was 22-7 going into conference tournament play.