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Fernandez named semifinalist for Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year award

Coach Jose Fernandez currently holds a 388-274 record in his 21st season as head coach of the USF women’s basketball team. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO.

Coach Jose Fernandez of the USF women’s basketball team was named as one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year award Wednesday.

The honor is given to the most outstanding women’s basketball coach for a particular season, as voted by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s board of selectors.

Other finalists for the accolade include Geno Auriemma of UConn, Adia Barnes of Arizona, Gary Blair of Texas A&M, Mike Carey of West Virginia, Brenda Frese of Maryland, Wes Moore of NC State, Joni Taylor of Georgia, Tara VanDerveer of Stanford and Jeff Walz of Louisville.

Auriemma is a five-time winner of the award, while VanDerveer has brought home the award twice.

This season is Fernandez’s 21st year at the helm. His tenure includes six NCAA tournament appearances and one WNIT championship to go along with his 388 career victories.

The Bulls (15-2, 12-1 AAC) are the No. 15 team in the country, and recently clinched their first-ever regular-season conference title with a win over UCF on Tuesday, securing the top seed in the upcoming AAC tournament.

Fernandez and the team are also on the verge of earning a spot in the NCAA tournament for the seventh time in program history.

Next up for Fernandez and the Bulls is a rematch against UCF in Orlando on Thursday with tipoff set for 5 p.m.The game against the Knights will be televised on ESPNU and broadcast on 95.3/620 WDAE/iHeartRadio Bulls Unlimited.