Longhorns hook their coach

Donning a burnt-orange sweater, Gail Goestenkors was formally introduced Thursday as Texas' head coach in a press conference that came two days after Duke announced she was leaving.

"I'm so proud and so honored to be the new coach here at Texas," Goestenkors said. "[Duke] was a tough place for me to leave.... It was a tough decision, I had been there for 15 years. But I felt like it was really time for me to make a change and accept a new challenge."

After informing her old team of her decision in a meeting Tuesday afternoon, Goestenkors met with her new one Wednesday in Austin.

"I know several of the players, and we talked about a lot of things," Goestenkors said. "We talked about style of play and I said 'pressing, running and trapping,' and they got all excited and that got me excited."

Goestenkors replaces legendary Longhorns' coach Jody Conradt, who retired at the end of Texas season. During her career, she accumulated 900 wins and won the 1986 National Championship.

On Thursday, Goestenkors said her relationship with Conradt-as well as Texas women's athletics director Chris Plonsky-influenced her decision. She also cited the welcoming atmosphere created by football head coach Mack Brown and men's basketball head coach Rick Barnes during her campus visit last week.

"I've had the good fortune to meet such great people-there's such greatness here," Goestenkors said. "It's not just in the facilities. This certainly is not about money; this is about people, and this is about a challenge."

Goestenkors also released a statement through Duke, thanking the University for her time in Durham and wishing the program she built to national prominence success in the future.

She also addressed concerns that have been raised recently as she took time to choose between the Duke and Texas jobs.

"Over the past few weeks, it has been disheartening to hear misinformation regarding Duke's support of me and our program, specifically from Duke's athletic administration," Goestenkors said in the statement. "Before I entered into discussions with the University of Texas, Athletic Director Joe Alleva and Duke's administration approached me with a contract that was more than fair and addressed all of the issues I felt were important to the continued success of the women's basketball program."

Meanwhile, Duke's search for a new coach already has begun. The search committee, headed by Alleva, is currently gauging interest from potential candidates and gathering information, a source with knowledge of the committee's action said.

The two names that have surfaced in connection to the job are California-Berkeley's Joanne Boyle and Miami's Katie Meier, both Duke graduates.

The source called a San Francisco Chronicle report that Joanne Boyle "might have traveled to Durham" Wednesday "absolutely false."


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