Basketball Wiki
Texas Longhorns

University The University of Texas at Austin
Conference Big 12
South Division
Location Austin, TX|Austin, Texas|TX
Head coach Gail Goestenkors (3rd year)
Arena Frank Erwin Center
(Capacity: 16,755)
Nickname Longhorns
Colors Burnt Orange and White


Template:Basketball kit home and away
NCAA/AIAW Tournament champions
NCAA/AIAW Tournament Final Four
1982, 1986, 1987, 2003
NCAA/AIAW Tournament appearances
1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Conference tournament champions
Southwest Conference: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994
Big 12 Conference: 2003
Conference regular season champions
Southwest Conference: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1996
Big 12 Conference: 2003, 2004

The Texas Longhorns women's basketball team represents The University of Texas at Austin and competes in the Big 12 Conference.

The team has long been a national power in women's basketball. Under head coach Jody Conradt, the second NCAA Division I basketball coach to win 900 career games (after Tennessee's Pat Summitt), the Longhorns won the 1986 national championship. Conradt retired after the 2006–07 season, and was replaced by Duke head coach Gail Goestenkors.

Since 1977, Texas women's basketball has played its home games in the Frank Erwin Special Events Center, where the team has compiled a 399–76 (.840) record as of March 5, 2008.


The University of Texas held its first basketball competition in 1900, six years before Magnus Mainland started the men's team at Texas. The games in the first few years were intramural. By 1906, the school was playing other institutions, although only home games, not off-campus.[1] Full varsity intercollegiate competition in women's basketball began in 1974. The Longhorns rank fifth in both total victories and all-time win percentage among all NCAA Division I women's college basketball programs, with an all-time win-loss record of 843–275 (.754).[2][3]

The Longhorns have won 22 total conference championships (12 regular-season conference titles and 10 conference tournament titles) in women's basketball and have made 22 total appearances in the NCAA Tournament (32–21 overall record), reaching the NCAA Final Four three times (1986, 1987, 2003) and the NCAA Regional Finals (Elite Eight) eight times. Texas won the 1986 NCAA Championship to finish the 1985–86 season with a win-loss record of 34–0. As of April 2007, Texas ranks eleventh with Virginia for all-time NCAA Tournament victories (32), trailing Tennessee (104), Connecticut (65), Louisiana Tech (65), Stanford (52), Georgia (48), Duke (39), North Carolina (38), Purdue (38), Old Dominion (34), and Vanderbilt (34).[2][3]

Early Years (1900–1966)[]

The very first women's basketball games occurred in 1892, at Smith College, under the direction of Senda Berenson Abbott. Shortly thereafter, Clara Baer brought the game to Louisiana. The details of how the game came to Texas is not known for certain, but in 1900, Eleanore Norvell organized the first basketball game at the University of Texas. Norvell was originally from Oklahoma, and came to Texas to direct the physical education department. She has been at Texas for less than a year when she introduced basketball to students at the school. The first recorded game occurred on Saturday January 13, 1900. The teams played four ten minute quarters—the final score of that first game was 3–2.[1]

Although the men's game and women's game both had their roots in the Naismith rules, the first set of rules left a lot to be specified, and the rules for the women's game developed differently than for the men. Both Senda Berensen and Clara Baer used Naismith's rules as an inspiration, but developed their own set of rules, including marked areas on the court limiting the movement of players to their respective sections. Some of these rules were motivated by the prevailing assumptions of "female frailty and dependence".[4]

Texas would play limited intercollegiate basketball between 1903 and 1921. Eunice Aden was caption of the basketball team in 1903, took over coaching duties in 1905 and became director of physical education in 1911. Opportunities in basketball grew, but only in a limited way. Intercollegiate play existed, but the school did not allow off-campus games. When Aden retired in 1921, she was replaced by Anna Hiss, who would run the physical education department until 1957. While she was called a visionary for her role in directing physical education and intramurals, she was "dead-set against intercollegiate athletics for women". The limited intercollegiate play under Aden came to an end, with basketball now limited to intramurals and interclass play.[1]

The ascension of Hiss to the head of the department roughly coincided with the influence of Lou Henry Hoover, First Lady of the United States. In 1923, Hoover was head of the Girl Scouts of America. Although Hoover was an advocate of sports, she felt that highly competitive sports were detrimental.[5] Hooever helped to found the Women's Division of the National Amateur Athletic Foundation (WDNAAF). This foundation passed a resolution in 1925 banning extramural competition.[5] The following year, Hiss formed an organization which voted "condemn intercollegiate competition for women, and to endorse the intramural/interclass model".[1]

Hiss supported many activities, including tennis, golf , archery, swimming and interpretive dance, but was opposed to team sports. In general, "artistry was favored over athleticism".[1] She led an unsuccessful protest against American woman participation in the Olympics of 1928, 1932, and 1936. She was the driving force behind the construction of a Women's Gymnasium (named in her honor after her death). While it was a substantial resource for women's athletics, it was deigned to fit her beliefs—the courts were too small for a proper basketball game, and had no room for spectators and the swimming pool was deliberately shorter than Olympic length.[1]

While basketball was not officially supported as a school-sponsored sport in the 1920s and 30s, it was still played by many groups. The interclass games were de-emphasized, but fraternities and sororities played the game, as well as organizations such as the YWCA, industrial leagues and AAU teams.[1]

Intermediate years (1967–1974)[]

After Hiss's departure, basketball at Texas began to grow, although it would be almost a decade until it became a full varsity sport. The University of Texas Sports Association (UTSA) a predecessor to the athletic department, organized the sports available for women. Basketball was not one of the club sports offered until a student, Mary Neikirk, organized a petition which was presented to the administration. The school agreed to add basketball as a club sport under the auspices of the UTSA.[6]

The first year's budget was $100. A team was formed, and the team played under the girl's rules of the era—six players on a team, two of whom stayed at the defensive end, two of whom stayed in the offensive end and two, called "rovers" who could play both ends. These rules were used until 1971, at which time they switched to "boy's rules".[6]

In 1973, the team practiced and played in the annex of Gregory Gymnasium. Rod Page, who had some experience as a women's basketball assistant coach, was a referee at one of the games. When the current coach of the team quit, Page was hired. The Texas team, in Pages' first year, compiled a record of 7–11.[6]

The 1974 season was a season of transition, with a mixture of firsts and lasts. This year's team was the first to play their games in Gregory Gymnasium itself, rather than the annex. This was the first year the team had trainers, and it was the first year that the Longhorn Band and cheerleaders performed for the team. It was their last year under the auspices of the UTSA. It was the last year before the sport attained the status of a full varsity sport.[6]

Title IX was passed in 1972, with a provision prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex. At the time it was passed, it was unknown what impact it would have on sports, including whether it even applied to intercollegiate sports.[7] Two years, later, in 1974, the issue wasn't yet settled, with the Tower Amendment specifically excluding revenue-producing sports,[8] but shortly thereafter, the Tower Amendment was eliminated.[9] It was becoming clear that universities would have to respond sooner or later, but Texas responded in 1974. Shortly after the conclusion of the 1974 basketball season, Stephen Spurr, the University president, announced that a women's athletic department would be started, complete with offices, staff and a budget of $50,000.[6]

Rod Page years (1974–1976)[]

Some schools waited for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to provide specific regulations covering Title IX. These regulations would not be published until 1975. In 1974, Texas began offering varsity sports opportunities to female students in seven sports.[10] In some ways, the University of Texas program became the envy of women at other schools, but the initial progress was relative. Two-thirds of the male athletes at Texas were on scholarship, while only one in fifteen female students were on scholarship. There were 21 male coach positions, almost all full time, but seven women's coaches who were all part-time.[7]

Under Pages' leadership, the team improved upon their prior year results, with a record of 17–10. The team started out strong, winning their first five games, including an overtime win against Houston 63–62, before running into Baylor, who won easily 116–62. Some of the games were played as preliminaries to the men's games, but others were stand-alone games.[10]

They would also lose their next game to Southwest Texas, on a night when fundraiser was held, with an exhibition match between UT All-Stars and the All American Red Heads Team, a barnstorming team of female basketball players. The team earned an invitation to the Texas AIAW post season tournament, as a second seed behind Southwest Texas. The tournament schedule required five games in three days. The Texas team did well, except against Southwest Texas, ending up with 17 victories against 10 losses, five of which were to Southwest Texas.[10]

The following season, Texas team would achieve even more. The basketball team added Retha Swindell, a 6' 2" rebounder with defensive skills. The school also hired Donna Lopiano, who started what would become a 17-year stint as women's athletic director. She "vowed to have every Longhorn women's team in the top 10 and at least one national title within five years".[11] While the school was expressing a commitment to women's varsity sports, not everyone was supportive. The football coach, Darrell Royal, had told President Ford that "Title IX might be the death of big-time college football.".[11] Despite that concern, she managed to convince him to support her during her interview.

The team's first game was against Southwest Texas, the team that had defeated Texas five times in the previous season. This time, Texas would prevail 57–47 in a game held at their arena. The team lost three in a row as a result of sickness and injury, then responded with a twelve game winning streak. The team would go on to a 21–7 season record.[11]

Under Rod Page, the team had improved materially, so it was a surprise that when the Longhorns completed their regular season, and prepared for the post-season tournament, athletic director Lopiano announced he would not be continuing as coach of the team. The news came as a shock to Page and the team. The reason given was that the position was a head coach of basketball and volleyball—Page did not have volleyball experience. However, Lopiano had her eye on another coach, one she felt could lead the team to become a national contender.[11]

Jody Conradt era (1976–2007)[]

File:Jody conradt.jpg

Jody Conradt, Texas Longhorn women's basketball head coach from 1976 to 2007

Lopiano's choice was Jody Conradt, who was garnering national attention as the head coach at the University of Texas at Arlington. She turned a losing program around, and the 1975–76 team would compile a 23–11 record, despite materially strengthening their schedule of opponents at the same time.[12] Two days after announcing that Page would not be returning, Lopiano announced that Conradt would be the coach starting with the next season. Conradt wasn't surprised that the team felt loyalty to Page, but she asked them to "have an open mind".[13]

The first season under Conradt had a schedule of 46 games. The schedule included games in northeast USA, the first out-of-state trip for the team, and the first airplane ride for many of the players. To save money, the team stayed at the home of Lopiano's parents in Stamford Connecticut. Texas lost badly to Queens College, then ranked #15 in the nation, but went on to the Penn State Invitational where they beat Penn State and Southern Connecticut, at that time a national power.[13] Mel Greenberg, the organizer of the first top 25 women's poll, was in attendance. By the time the team returned to Austin, they learned of their first national ranking at #14. The team would complete their first season under Conradt with a record of 36–10.[13]

Conradt coached both basketball and volleyball, but would give up volleyball duties after two seasons.[14] The team would go on to become the dominant women's basketball team on the 1980s, ranked in the AP top ten all but one year between 1979 and 1990.[12]

Texas would end the 1984[15] and 1985[16] seasons with the number one ranking according to the AP ranking service, but failed to win the national championship both years. In 1984, they suffered injuries, in 1985, they went 28–3, but were upset in the NCAA tournament by Western Kentucky.[17] 1986 would end differently. Again they achieved the AP #1 ranking,[18] but they also went on to win every single game, achieving a record of 34–0, and posting the first undefeated season in women's basketball during the NCAA era (since 1982) and the fourth undefeated season in women's college basketball overall.[12]

Gail Goestenkors era (2007–present)[]

National honors and awards[]

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Gregory Gymnasium[]

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File:Gregory Gym.jpg

Front façade of Gregory Gymnasium

Frank Erwin Center[]

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File:Erwin center 2005.jpg

The Frank Erwin Center

Denton A. Cooley Pavilion[]

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All-time season results (since 1974)[]

All-time series records against Big 12 members[]


Texas Tech[]



Texas A&M[]

Notable players[]

  • Clarissa Davis
  • Kamie Ethridge
  • Nell Fortner
  • Fran Harris
  • Andrea Lloyd-Curry

See also[]

  • Texas Longhorns men's basketball


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Pennington pp. 269–274
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Texas Longhorns Women's Basketball Quick Facts". Retrieved 2008-03-18.  Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.[dead link]
  3. 3.0 3.1 "NCAA 2008 Women's Basketball Record Book". Retrieved 2008-03-18.  Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.[dead link]
  4. Shackleford and Grundy p. 15
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lannin pp. 40–41
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Pennington pp. 274–277
  7. 7.0 7.1 Festle p. 180 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Festle" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Festle" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Festle" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Festle" defined multiple times with different content
  8. "Legislative History of Title IX". 22 June 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  9. Template:Cite book
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Pennington pp. 277–280
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Pennington pp. 280–282
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Porter pp. 86–87
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Pennington pp. 282–286
  14. Pennington pp. 286–289
  15. "1984 Final AP Women's Basketball Poll – AP Poll Archive – Historical College Football and Basketball Polls and Rankings". Retrieved 19 June 2010.  Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.[dead link]
  16. "1985 Final AP Women's Basketball Poll – AP Poll Archive – Historical College Football and Basketball Polls and Rankings". Retrieved 19 June 2010.  Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.[dead link]
  17. Cain, Joy (20 November 1985). "The Best Little Scorehouse In...". Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  18. "1986 Final AP Women's Basketball Poll – AP Poll Archive – Historical College Football and Basketball Polls and Rankings". Retrieved 19 June 2010.  Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.[dead link]
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Big 12 Women's Basketball Media Guide". Retrieved 2007-04-18. 


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External links[]