By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
2012-13 SEC Women's Basketball Schedule
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The 2012-13 Southeastern Conference women’s basketball schedule, released on Friday, had a different look to it. The schedule is just one of many things that will have a new feel to them when the season tips off this November.
The SEC schedule remains a 16-game slate but, for the first time, it features new league members Missouri and Texas A&M, which officially joined the league July 1. That means a slight shift in permanent scheduling opponents. The schedule features a single round-robin slate against all league opponents. A team’s remaining three conference games will be rematches with one permanent opponent and two random opponents.
The SEC Tournament, which will take place March 6-10 in Duluth, Ga., will feature each of the league’s 14 teams and will begin a day earlier with a pair of games. Also new to the tournament format will be splitting the early sessions in which the league’s top-two seeds play. The tournament’s top seed will play its early games in the afternoon session, while the No. 2 seed will play in the evening session.
One of the changes that will be immediately noticeable is the addition of six new head coaches to the SEC, though several are quite familiar faces. The following is a look at the new head coaches that will take the sidelines this season in the league.
Gary Blair, Texas A&M: Blair isn’t exactly a newcomer to the SEC, having served as the head coach at Arkansas from 1993-2003, but he returns to the league having resurrected the Texas A&M program, culminating with the 2011 NCAA Championship. The Aggies have made a school-record seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and Blair is one of only six coaches in NCAA history to take three different schools to the NCAA Tournament. He took Arkansas to the 1998 NCAA Final Four.
Terri Williams-Flournoy, Auburn: A 20-year coaching veteran who most recently led Georgetown to its most successful four-year run in program history, Williams-Flournoy was named Auburn’s head coach at April 2, following Nell Fortner’s retirement. She led the Hoyas to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2010-12 and helped the team to a 93-41 record over the past four years. She is no stranger to the SEC, having served as an assistant at Georgia from 1996-2002 and, in the summer of 2011, had the opportunity to serve as an assistant coach for Team USA at the World University Games.
Robin Pingeton, Missouri: Pingeton enters her third season as the head coach at Missouri, having taken over the reigns after seven highly successful seasons at Illinois State that resulted in three Missouri Valley Conference regular-season titles. Pingeton directed the Tigers to a 10-1 start last season, the program’s best since the 2006-07 campaign. She has a career head coaching record of 362-193.
Vic Schaefer, Mississippi State: The longtime assistant to Blair at both Arkansas and Texas A&M, Schaefer was named Mississippi State’s head coach on March 13, following the retirement of Sharon Fanning-Otis. Nicknamed the “Secretary of Defense,” Schaefer spent 15 years as the associate head coach at Texas A&M, helping guide the Aggies to seven NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2011 NCAA Championship. He is a 26-year coaching veteran and also served as head coach at Sam Houston State from 1990-97.
Holly Warlick, Tennessee: For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Tennessee women’s basketball program will have a new leader, as Pat Summitt retired from the head coaching position this past April. Warlick, a former Tennessee player and member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, has spent 27 seasons as an assistant to Summitt and was elevated to associate head coach in 2005. Warlick has helped Tennessee win eight NCAA Championships and advance to 16 Final Fours. She was named the 2007 WBCA Assistant Coach of the Year.
Adrian Wiggins, Ole Miss: The architect of the Fresno State women’s basketball program, Wiggins was named Ole Miss’ head coach on March 26, following the resignation of Renee Ladner. He spent the past seven seasons as the head coach at Fresno State, where he led the Bulldogs to a piece of the Western Athletic Conference regular-season title five consecutive seasons and the WAC Tournament crown in four of the last five seasons. He has a career record of 175-66.