TAMPA, Florida (April 4, 2019) – Carlos Funchess, of Southern University, is the 2019 Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced today.
The award honors a WBCA member NCAA Division I head coach who has led their team to a successful season during their first year on the sideline. It is named in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, who in her inaugural season as the Army head coach, led the Black Knights to the 2006 Patriot League title and their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship tournament. Dixon, 29, died of an undiagnosed heart condition just weeks after on April 6, 2006.
“Success in your first year as a head coach is generally a difficult feat. When a new head coach demonstrates a mastery of managing all aspects of a program, as well as producing success in competition, our coaching family pays respectful attention. The WBCA is proud to announce Carlos Funchess as the winner of the 2019 Spalding Maggie Dixon DI Rookie Coach of the Year award,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “Carlos led his team to a remarkable season. We celebrate his effort and effectiveness on the basketball court as a teacher and equally applaud the extensive role he plays in impacting the lives of his student-athletes.”
This season, Funchess led Southern to its first Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament championship since 2010 and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. He was also named the SWAC Coach of the Year. Before being named head coach, he worked for 13 seasons as assistant coach and helped guide the program to five SWAC regular season titles and three tournament titles. The Mississippi native is a former two-time All-Southland Conference performer and 1991 co-Player of the Year at Northeast Louisiana University, now known as The University of Louisiana at Monroe. In 1997, he was inducted into the ULM Sports Hall of Fame.
“Spalding is very honored to be affiliated with the Spalding Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year Award,” said Matt Murphy, Vice President of Spalding. “Coach Funchess’ stellar inaugural season embodies what the award is about. We would like to recognize the hard work, the passion, and the results he achieved this year that have rightly earned him the Spalding Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year award.”
The first Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award was presented in 2007, the year following Dixon’s death. Visit www.wbca.org/recognize/to see a list of past recipients.
A Division of Russell Brands, LLC, Spalding is the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world, and America's first baseball company. Spalding is the official basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the official backboard of the NBA and NCAA, and the official baseball of the Little League World Series. In addition to being a leading producer and marketer of basketballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls, Spalding produces softballs under the Dudley brand. The SPALDING® and DUDLEY® trademarks are owned by Russell Brands, LLC. For more information, visit www.spalding.com.
About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to the organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit www.WBCA.org for more details about the Association.