By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia head coach Andy Landers was hired to his current role on April 24, 1979 at the age of 26. At the time, he already had 82 victories as a head coach under his belt.
Landers spent four seasons at Roane State, a junior college in Harriman, Tenn., prior to his arrival in Athens, where he compiled an impressive record of 82-21 (.796). Combine those wins with the 817 he has earned at the University of Georgia and that leaves Landers just one victory shy of 900 for his career, heading into Sunday’s game with Ole Miss in Oxford (2 p.m. ET, CSS/ESPN3).
If Georgia wins on Sunday, Landers will become one of just four major women’s college basketball head coaches to reach the 900-win plateau. Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer also has 899 career victories, but was denied her 900th win on Saturday in a loss to St. John’s. The Scarlet Knights face the University of South Florida on Tuesday.
If you were to look into the NCAA rule book, however, you wouldn’t find note of Landers’ imminent accomplishment. The NCAA does not recognize his wins at Roane State due to the fact that it is not a four-year institution.
“I get it,” Landers said. “I understand it. I don't have a problem with it in any way, shape or form. But I will say this. I am as proud of those 82 wins at Roane State as I am of the 800 wins that I've had at the University of Georgia. I loved my time at Roane.”
In a win against Savannah State on Nov. 20, 2012, Landers notched his 800th victory at the University of Georgia. He is now 817-272 (.750) in his 34th season in Athens.
Just a quick glance at his resume and Landers has accomplished a staggering list of achievements. They include:
• 29 NCAA Tournament Appearances
• 28 20-Win Seasons
• 19 Sweet 16 Appearances
• 11 Southeastern Conference Titles
• 5 Final Four Appearances
I profiled Landers and how he built the Georgia program this past July as part of our SEC “40/40” series celebrating women’s athletics in the SEC. You can read that feature here: http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com/tabid/473/article/235560/SEC-40-40-Landers-Blazes-Trail-At-Georgia.aspx
WINNINGEST ACTIVE NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COACHES
1. Sylvia Hatchell, North Carolina – 903
T2. Andy Landers, Georgia – 899
T2. C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers – 899
4. Tara VanDerveer, Stanford – 886
5. Geno Auriemma, UConn – 828
(as of Feb. 21)