West Virginia head basketball coach Mike Carey looks on as the Mountaineers face Texas Tech on Jan. 27, 2021.

West Virginia head basketball coach Mike Carey looks on as the Mountaineers face Texas Tech on Jan. 27, 2021. 

West Virginia head women’s basketball coach Mike Carey has been named a semifinalist for the Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year award as announced on Wednesday.

The Mountaineers currently rank No. 20 in the AP Poll and are in second place in the Big 12 conference behind the Baylor Bears. As of Wednesday, West Virginia has amassed 18 victories after only winning 17 games last year before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the season.

The Mountaineers nearly broke the school record for the longest winning streak as they won 11-straight games from Dec. 21 to Feb. 13. That streak included an upset of then-No. 17 Texas, 92-58, on Jan. 9 in Morgantown.

WVU is on the verge of its first NCAA Tournament berth since the 2016-17 season when it made it as far as the second round. West Virginia has won 12 conference games so far this season, which is its most since the 2015-16 season. This is only the fourth time since the Mountaineers have joined the Big 12 that they have reached double-digits in conference victories.

In Carey’s tenure as head coach — hired in 2001 — West Virginia has reached the NCAA Tournament 11 times but has never made it beyond the second round. Carey has 428 career wins as the head coach for WVU and 716 overall career wins overall as a Division I head coach, as he coached at Salem University prior to taking over in Morgantown.

Carey has been named Coach of the Year three times — 2004 and 2010 in the Big East and 2014 in the Big 12.

Carey is one of 10 coaches named as a semifinalist for the prestigious trophy and he is the only coach from the Big 12. Other coaches on the list include: UConn’s Geno Auriemma, Adia Barnes from Arizona, Gary Blair from Texas A&M, South Florida’s Jose Fernandez, Maryland’s Brenda Frese, NC State’s Wes Moore, Joni Taylor from Georgia, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer and Louisville’s Jeff Walz.

Sports Editor

I am a senior journalism student from Grant, Alabama. I have been with the DA since January 2019 and I have covered multiple sports including, women's basketball, tennis, women's soccer, men's soccer, golf, swimming and diving, and football.