Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
BOSTON -- Central Michigan women’s basketball coach Sue Guevara is the recipient of the 2018 Kay Yow National Coach of the Year Award.
The award is presented by CollegeInsider.com.
Guevara led the Chippewas to the best season in program history in 2017-18, winning the Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament titles and taking her team to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. She was named the MAC Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons.
“It takes a village and I’ve said this before, I just happen to be the mayor of women’s basketball,” Guevara said. “If anything this would be the ‘staff of the year’ award.
“I’m honored and I’m very humbled by it. Kay Yow she’s one of the greats in our profession. She embodies the servant leader. We’re just here to make very strong, confident women when they graduate and make their mark in society.”
Guevara, who just completed her 11th year at CMU, led the Chippewas to a program-record 30 victories against just five losses.
The Chippewas won the first two NCAA Tournament games in program history in reaching the Sweet Sixteen. CMU, seeded 11th in its region, opened the tournament with an upset of sixth-seeded LSU and then, two days later, upset third-seeded Ohio State before falling to No. 2 seed Oregon.
The Chippewas finished the season ranked 20th in the final USA Today Top 25 coaches poll. They were also ranked No. 1 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25.
The Kay Yow Award was established in 2010 to honor the Division I women's head coach who embodies a winning spirit and displays great character both on and off the court.
Yow, who died in 2009, was a coaching legend who led North Carolina State to 737 wins during her 34 seasons at the school and is a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame. She coached her teams to gold medals at the 1981 World University Games, the 1986 Goodwill Games, and 1986 World Championship Games and the 1988 Olympics.
“She battled cancer courageously and never let it slow her down,” Guevara said of Yow. “One of the quotes that I use all the time is ‘When life kicks you, let it kick you forward.’ It’s about staying positive in the way she looked at things and the way we look at things.”