Women’s basketball coach earns contract extension

<p>ASU head women&#39;s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne has agreed to a contract extension that will run through the 2012 season, according to an announcement by Lisa Love, ASU&#39;s vice president for university athletics.</p><separator></separator><p>The contract is pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents.</p><separator></separator><p>Turner Thorne, the most successful coach in program history (203-134 record at ASU), is coming off a season in which she directed the Sun Devils to their first-ever Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.</p><separator></separator><p>“The record of success Charli Turner Thorne&#39;s student-athletes have established on the court, in the classroom and in the community is one in which Arizona State University takes a great deal of pride,” Love says. “Under Charli&#39;s guidance, the women&#39;s basketball program has ascended to heights never before reached before her arrival. We are committed to bringing national championships to Arizona State – and, with Charli at the helm, we are confident that is precisely where the Sun Devils are headed. Not only has she constructed an outstanding competitive foundation, she has proven her ability to elevate it.”</p><separator></separator><p>“On behalf of my staff and all those involved with our program, I want to thank ASU President Michael Crow and Lisa Love for the commitment they have made and are continuing to make to women&#39;s basketball at Arizona State,” says Turner Thorne, who just completed her 11th season at ASU. “Arizona State and the entire Valley community have made this a special place, not only for my family, but also for all of our Sun Devil student-athletes. Time and again – in countless ways – this community has reached out to our program to offer its support. All of us in the women&#39;s basketball program look forward to continue serving this community for many years to come and will do everything we can to bring a national championship home to Tempe.”</p><separator></separator><p>In addition to leading ASU to its best run ever in the NCAA Tournament, Turner Thorne guided ASU to single-season school records this year for most overall wins (31), most Pac-10 wins (16) and most road wins (10) while also having ASU ranked as high as No. 7 during the regular season in the <em>USA Today </em>/ESPN coaches poll, which represented ASU&#39;s highest ranking ever in either of the major polls. This season&#39;s NCAA berth was the third consecutive and the fifth in the last seven years for ASU, which is 80-22 (.784) since the 2004-05 season.</p><separator></separator><p>In the classroom, the ASU women&#39;s basketball program has annually distinguished itself as one of the top squads in the nation under Turner Thorne&#39;s tutelage. In her 11 years at ASU, Turner Thorne&#39;s teams have achieved a near-perfect graduation rate among players who have completed their eligibility at ASU. Recently, the Sun Devils placed a school record and conference-best eight players on the Pac-10&#39;s all-academic team.</p><separator></separator><p>Turner Thorne also has increased the exposure not only of ASU women&#39;s basketball, but women&#39;s sports in general throughout the community.</p><separator></separator><p>This past season, the Sun Devils hosted the “Hoops for Health Classic,” which featured ASU against Texas Tech in the second-ever outdoor women&#39;s college basketball game at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix. The game served as a platform for health awareness, as several agencies from around the state gathered to host a health expo before the game. Six years earlier, the Sun Devils played host to the “AstraZeneca Hoops for the Cure,” which featured ASU taking on the University of Tennessee Lady Vols in the first outdoor women&#39;s college basketball game. A portion of proceeds from the event, which drew a Pac-10 record 16,782 fans, went to the Phoenix affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Greater Phoenix Oncology Program.</p><separator></separator><p>Next season, ASU will return 11 players, including three starters – guards Briann January, Jill Noe and Regan Pariseau – and several other significant contributors from its Elite Eight squad. In addition to regaining the services of All-Pac-10 Freshman guard Dymond Simon, who missed the last 16 games of the just-completed season with a knee injury, the Sun Devils will also receive a boost from the addition of junior posts Sybil Dosty (a transfer from the University of Tennessee) and Lauren Lacey (a transfer from the University of Minnesota), who sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules, and from talented incoming freshmen Rebecca Tobin (Glendale Cactus) and Stephanie Wilber (Auburn Riverside, Auburn, Wash.).</p>