Miss. State’s Vic Schaefer named Coach of the Year

AP Photo/ James Crisp

BIRMINGHAM, Al. — Southeastern Conference women’s basketball coaches have selected Mississippi State’s Vic Schaefer as Coach of the Year.

Schaefer led the second-ranked team to a 30-0 regular season – the SEC’s first perfect season in 20 years.

Mississippi State hasn’t lost since falling to South Carolina in last year’s NCAA championship game. The last team to accomplish such a feat was Tennessee’s 1997-1998 national championship squad.

“We’ve had that target all year, starting with the first game for what we did a year ago,” Schaefer said Sunday after the team capped a perfect regular season with a win over Kentucky. “As we started winning games and the streak has continued, now you’ve got two big targets. It’s stopping the streak and it’s the team that was in the national championship game a year ago, so these kids have taken everybody’s best shot.”

This is the second time Schaefer has been named Coach of the Year.

On Tuesday, the SEC also released its all-conference team and a total of three Lady Bulldogs made the cut.

The first team included South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson, the league’s Player of the Year,  Mississippi State’s Teaira McCowan, LSU’s Raigyne Louis, Mississippi State’s Victoria Vivians, Missouri’s Sophie Cunningham, Texas A&M’s Chennedy Carter and Tennessee’s Jaime Nared and Mercedes Russell.

The second team featured Georgia’s Caliya Robinson and Mackenzie Engram, LSU’s Chloe Jackson, Kentucky’s Maci Morris, Mississippi State’s Morgan William, Missouri’s Jordan Frericks, South Carolina’s Tyasha Harris and Texas A&M’s Khaalia Hillsman.

Wilson and McCowan were co-defensive players of the year. Carter was freshman of the year. Tennessee’s Anastasia Hayes was sixth woman of the year.