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.
“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.