Mizzou Women’s Basketball head coach Robin Pingeton has been named the 2017 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, as announced by the league Tuesday. The award was voted on and selected by the conference’s coaches.
Pingeton is Mizzou Women’s Basketball’s first head coach to receive Coach of the Year honors since 1990 and the second coach to do so in program history, joining Joann Rutherford (1984, 1985 and 1990). Pingeton has now earned conference Coach of the Year recognition three times in her career after being named Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2010 at Illinois State.
Despite losing All-SEC forward Jordan Frericks and key reserve Bri Porter in the frontcourt to preseason injuries, Pingeton has guided Mizzou to a historic campaign in 2016-17, leading the Tigers to back-to-back 21-win seasons for the first time since 1983-84 and 1984-85. Picked to place seventh in the SEC in the preseason poll, Mizzou finished third in the league with an 11-5 mark in conference play. Mizzou’s 11 conference wins are its most since 1990.
Under Pingeton, Mizzou now has five consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1985-1990. The Tigers, who owned an 11-7 record four games into league action, won 10 of their final 12 games to clinch a double bye in the SEC Tournament and catapult into the Associated Press Top 25. During the home stretch, Mizzou put together a pair of five-game win streaks, MU’s longest streaks in conference play since 1990. It marked the first time in program history that Mizzou rattled off two separate win streaks of five or more in league play.
Pingeton and company won 15 home games during the 2016-17 season, knocking off three ranked opponents, No. 25 Kentucky, No. 25 Texas A&M and No. 6 South Carolina, along the way. Dating back to last season, the Tigers have won five consecutive games over ranked opponents at Mizzou Arena.
Pingeton’s emphasis on the importance of rebounding and free throw shooting has paid big dividends this season. Despite the loss of two forwards, Mizzou outrebounded opponents in 22 of 30 games and held opponents to a league-low 31.0 rebounds per contest in conference play. The Tigers, who rank second in the nation in free throw percentage shooting 80.1 percent, are also on pace to shatter single-season program and SEC records at the charity stripe. Mizzou has shot above 70 percent in 27 of 30 games.
Pingeton has racked up 457 career victories, including 122 and counting in seven seasons at Mizzou. With an unforgettable regular season in the books, she and the Tigers now turn to the postseason, which begins with the 2017 SEC Tournament in Greenville, S.C. With a double bye locked up, Mizzou rests until the quarterfinals on Friday. Tip off is set for approximately 7:30 p.m. CT.