Alum receives national recognition at NCAA tournament

CSU Monterey Bay alumna Lisa Fortier was named Rookie Coach of the Year after her first season at the helm at Division I Gonzaga University.

The award was given out at the annual Women’s Basketball Coaches Association meeting at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa.

Fortier graduated from CSUMB in 2004 with a degree in Human Communication. Longtime Otter fans may remember her as Lisa Mispley, an All-California Pacific Conference selection in her two seasons at CSUMB. She was an NAIA All-Academic team member in 2003, and was named CSUMB’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2004.

Lisa Fortier
Lisa Fortier (HCom, 2004) is honored by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association

“These awards are about universities, communities, coaching staffs and mostly about players,” she told the Seattle Times. “The young women on our team . . . the way they compete and work to get better is inspiring.”

Fortier, who was promoted after seven years as an assistant on Gonzaga’s staff, led the team to a 26-8 finish and its seventh consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. Her team made it to the Sweet 16, after a pair of upsets as an 11-seed.

Since 2007, Gonzaga has amassed a 232-51 record, including a 114-10 mark in conference play.

Lisa’s husband, Craig Fortier, played for the Otters before graduating in 2003. After 11 years of coaching men’s basketball – at Whitworth and Eastern Washington universities –he joined his wife’s staff at Gonzaga last year.

The couple have three children.