04/19/2014
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Women's Basketball
 
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Cynthia Cooper-Dyke
Position: Head Coach
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Alma Mater: Prairie View
Graduating Year: 2005
Experience: 1 Year
Phone: 910-962-3418
Email: coop@uncw.edu
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Cooper-Dyke Photos
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Cooper-Dyke Videos

One of the most decorated players in the history of women's basketball, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke returns for her second season as head coach of the UNCW women's basketball program after a record-breaking debut in 2010-11.

Cooper-Dyke led the Seahawks to their most successful campaign last season, guiding the squad to a school-record 24 victories and its first postseason appearance with an at-large berth in the 2011 Postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament. UNCW was victorious in its first postseason contest, recording a 63-54 victory over Richmond before falling to Eastern Michigan in the second round.  

Cooper-Dyke was named CAA Coach-of-the-Year, marking the third time in her six-year collegiate coaching career that she has earned Coach-of-the-Year accolades. Freshman point guard Alisha Andrews garnered CAA Rookie-of-the-Year honors, while seniors Brittany Blackwell and Martha White were First and Second-Team All-Conference selections, respectively. All three players were named to the league's All-Defensive Team.

Cooper-Dyke also achieved a personal milestone during the season, recording her 100th collegiate coaching victory with an 85-68 triumph at Northeastern on Jan. 23, 2011.

Before the season began, Cooper-Dyke was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on August, 13, 2010. Part of the largest induction class in the Hall of Fame's history, Cooper-Dyke was enshrined along with Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen, longtime LA Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, St. Anthony's (N.J.) high-school coach Bob Hurley, Sr., as well as former players Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson and international star Maciel "Ubiratan" Pereira, all of whom will be honored posthumously. Also included in the enshrinement ceremony were the 1960 and 1992 US Men's Olympic teams.

The former college great, Olympic gold medalist and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) Most Valuable Player was named the ninth head coach in UNCW's history on May 10, 2010 following a successful five-year stint at Prairie View A&M in central Texas.

Cooper-Dyke joined the Prairie View program in May of 2005 and guided the Panthers to their first Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) regular season title, SWAC Tournament crown and NCAA Tournament berth in 2006-07, collecting conference Coach-of-the-Year honors.

PVAMU repeated as SWAC regular season champions in 2008 and 2009 under Cooper-Dyke. The 2008 club made its first appearance in the WNIT and Cooper-Dyke was voted SWAC Coach-of-the-Year for the second time in 2009 after leading the Panthers to their second NCAA Tournament appearance.

Born in Chicago but raised in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, Cooper-Dyke was a four-year standout at Southern California, where she sparked the Women of Troy to back-to-back NCAA championships in 1983 and 1984. She later completed her Bachelor's Degree at Prairie View A&M.

Cooper-Dyke collected five medals while representing the United States. She won a gold medal at the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis, captured gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, claimed gold at the 1986 and 1990 FIBA World Championships and won bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

Cooper-Dyke began her professional career overseas and played 10 seasons in Spain and Italy. She returned to the United States in 1997 to play with the Houston Comets of the newly-formed WNBA.

She subsequently led the Comets to four consecutive WNBA championships and was named WNBA Finals MVP four times. Cooper-Dyke was voted the league's MVP in 1997 and 1998 and was a four-time WNBA All-Star before retiring in 2000.

Cooper-Dyke moved into the coaching ranks in 2001 as the head coach of the Phoenix Mercury and spent two seasons on the sidelines before returning to the Comets' playing roster briefly until an injury curtailed her season in 2003.  She announced her final retirement prior to the start of the 2004 campaign and finished as Houston's all-time leader in scoring (2,601 points), free throw percentage (.871) and assists (602).

Cooper-Dyke, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, has also been active beyond the basketball court. In 2000, she published her autobiography, "She Got Game: My Personal Odyssey," chronicling her childhood, basketball career and her mother's battle with breast cancer.

 

The Cynthia Cooper-Dyke File

PERSONAL
Full Name: Cynthia Lynne Cooper-Dyke
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.

Family: Husband, Brian; Children, Brian Jr. (7) and Cyan (7)

EDUCATION
High School: Locke High School
College: Southern California 
            
B.S., Human Sciences, Prairie View A&M

PLAYING EXPERIENCE

University of Southern California

  • Helped squad post 114-15 overall mark in four seasons (1981-84, 1985-86)
  • Led Women of Troy to back-to-back National Championships (1983, 1984)
  • 1982 WBCA Freshman All-American
  • Guided USC to 1986 National Championship Game
  • 1986 Final Four All-Tournament Team selection
  • Ranks ninth in scoring (1,559), seventh in assists (381), third in steals (256) and seventh in games played (121)

USA Basketball

  • Won Gold Medal with U.S. Women's Team at 1987 Pan-American Games in Indianapolis
  • Captured Gold Medal with U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team at the games of the XXIV Olympiad in Seoul, Korea
  • Won Bronze Medal with U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team at the games of the XXV Olympiad in Barcelona, Spain
  • Claimed Gold Medals with U.S. Women's National Team at the 1986 and 1990 FIBA World Championships
  • Won Gold Medals with U.S. Senior Women's National Team at the 1986 and 1990 Goodwill Games

International

  • Played 10 seasons internationally with Segovia in Spain and Parma and Alcamo in Italy
  • Captured league's scoring title eight times in 10 seasons
  • Named MVP of the 1987 European All-Star Game
  • Averaged 37.5 points per game to lead squad to 1996 European Cup
  • Italian All-Star Team selection during the 1996-97 season

WNBA

  • Played parts of five seasons with Houston Comets (1997-2000, 2003)
  • Helped franchise capture first four WNBA titles in league history (1997, 98, 99, 2000)
  • Two-time WNBA regular-season MVP (1997, 1998). Was first player in league to win the award.
  • Four-time WNBA Finals MVP (1997, 98, 99, 2000)
  • Finished career as franchise's all-time leader in scoring (2,601), assists (601) and free-throw percentage (.871)
  • Member of WNBA's All-Decade Team (1997-2008)
  • Named starter for the 1999, 2000 and 2003 WNBA All-Star Game
  • Four-time First-Team All-WNBA selection (1997-2000)

COACHING EXPERIENCE

Professional

  • Served as Head Coach of WNBA's Phoenix Mercury for one and a half seasons (2000-01)
  • Compiled a 19-23 overall record

Prairie View A&M

  • Named Head Coach of Prairie View A&M on July 1, 2005
  • Compiled 85-72 overall ledger and 64-26 conference record in five seasons with program
  • Two-time SWAC Coach-of-the-Year (2007, 2009)
  • Led Lady Panthers to three straight SWAC regular-season titles (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09) and two SWAC Tournament championships (2006-07, 2008-09)
  • Guided squad to first four post-season appearances in program history (NCAA 2006-07, 2008-09; WNIT 2007-08, 2009-10)

UNCW

  • Named Head Coach at UNC Wilmington on May 10, 2010
  • Led program to school-record 24 victories and third 20-win season in program history (2010-11).
  • CAA Coach-of-the-Year (2010-11).
  • Recorded her 100th career coaching victory on Jan. 23 with an 85-68 win at Northeastern.
  • Guided Seahawks for first postseason appearance in program history with at-large berth in the 2011 Postseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
  • Led program to its first postseason victory with 63-54 triumph in the first round of the 2011 Postseason WNIT against Richmond.

Hall of Fame Inductions
  • Member of 2009 induction class of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Member of 2010 induction class of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
Collegiate Coaching Record

 

Season

Overall

Percentage

Conference

Percentage

Prairie View A&M

2005-06

7-21

.250

6-12

.250

Prairie View A&M

2006-07

19-14

.576

14-4

.778

Prairie View A&M

2007-08

22-12

.647

15-3

.883

Prairie View A&M

2008-09

23-11

.676

17-1

.944

Prairie View A&M

2009-10

15-14

.517

12-6

.666

Prairie View A&M  Total

 

86-72

.541

64-26

.711

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNCW

2010-11

24-9

.727

14-4

.777

Career Totals

 

110-81

.574

78-30

.722

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