Graves in March 2012 (Kingston Regional vs. Kentucky)
January 14, 1963 |
Salt Lake City, Utah
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
St. Mary's (asst.)
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
WCC Regular Season Championship (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014)
WCC Tournament Championship (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014)
WCC Coach of the Year (2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014)
Kelly Graves (born January 14, 1963) is the current head women's basketball coach at Gonzaga University (2000–present). Graves was formerly an assistant coach for the Portland Pilots (1994-1997) and St. Mary Gaels, where he later got his first head coaching stunt for the Gaels from 1997-2000. From the 2004-2005 season to present, he guided Gonzaga to nine consecutive West Coast Conference regular season titles. The 2007 team went 13-1 in conference play, and later won the WCC conference tournament. The school also received its first ever NCAA tournament appearance. He was named WCC co-coach of the year for his accomplishments. In 2005, 2010, and 2011, Gonzaga went undefeated in WCC regular season play.
- 1 Rankings
- 2 Regular Season by years
- 3 WCC and NCAA Tournament
- 3.1 2006-2007 Season
- 3.2 2006-2007 Season
- 3.3 2008-2009 Season
- 3.4 2009 NCAA Tournament
- 3.5 2009-2010 Season
- 3.6 2010 NCAA Tournament and Gonzaga's First Ever Sweet 16
- 3.7 2010-2011
- 3.8 Gonzaga's Magical Run in the NCAA Tournament
- 3.9 The Post Vandersloot Era
- 3.10 2012 NCAA Tournament
- 3.11 2012-2013 Season
- 3.12 2013 NCAA Tournament
- 3.13 2013-2014 Regular Season
- 3.14 2014 NCAA Tournament
- 4 Notable Women's Basketball played under Coach Graves
- 5 Head coaching record
- 6 References
- 7 External links
In 2005, Gonzaga was ranked 23rd in the nation, which was its highest ranking ever in the polls. At the end of the 2009-2010 season, the Zags was ranked 12th in the final poll, which was their highest ranking ever in the polls. At the end of the 2010-2011 season, the Zags was ranked 8th in the final poll, which is their highest ranking ever in the polls.
Regular Season by years
St. Mary's Gaels (1997-2000)
Graves led the Gaels to a winning season in the first season of coaching with a 19-9, 9-4 in WCC play, tied for fourth in the conference. The next year, Graves led the Gaels to their first ever NCAA tournament with a 27-7 record and tied for 1st in the WCC regular season conference. In his final year as coach of the Gaels, Graves led the Gaels to a NIT tournament and lost in the second round.
Gonzaga Bulldogs (2000–present)
In April 2000, Graves was named head coach for Gonzaga. In his 13 years as coach for the Bulldogs, Graves turned the program from a last-place finish in the WCC to a national elite contender. For the past 10 years, Gonzaga have won or co-shared the regular season WCC title and the last six out of seven years, Gonzaga had made it into the NCAA tournament, with the WCC first ever at-large bid in the 2011-2012 basketball season.
WCC and NCAA Tournament
In the 2006-2007 season in West Coast Conference play, Gonzaga guided to a 13-1 record in conference play. The lone loss was against Pepperdine at McCarthey Athletic Center. In the middle of the season, future All-American Courtney Vandersloot signed with the Zags. In the WCC tournament, Gonzaga defeated Portland, San Francisco, and LMU to go to their first ever NCAA tournament.
In the NCAA tournament, Gonzaga played against Middle Tennessee State and they suffered an 85-46 loss at Stanford, where they finished their season with a 24-10 record.
A couple of years later in the 2008-2009 season in WCC play, Gonzaga guided with a 12-2 record in conference play, with a loss to Portland at home and Pepperdine on the road. In the WCC tournament, Gonzaga defeated LMU and San Diego to go to their second NCAA tournament.
2009 NCAA Tournament
In the 2009 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament, Graves guided Gonzaga to its first ever NCAA tournament victory over Xavier 74-59 at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle, WA. They would unfortunately lose to University of Pittsburgh 65-60 in the second round.
In the 2009-2010 season in West Coast Conference play, forward Heather Bowman broke the WCC and Gonzaga women's basketball school record of 2,133 points during the 2009-2010 season. Gonzaga went undefeated in West Coast Conference with a perfect 14-0 record and unbeaten in West Coast Conference tournament in Las Vegas, NV.
2010 NCAA Tournament and Gonzaga's First Ever Sweet 16
In the 2010 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament, Graves guided Gonzaga to an 82-76 first round victory over Hall of Fame coach Sylvia Hatchell's University of North Carolina Tar Heels women's basketball team and a 72-71 second-round victory over Gary Blair's Texas A&M Aggies women's basketball team. In the Texas A&M game, Courtney Vandersloot fouled out of the game with over a minute left, where Texas A&M and Gonzaga switch leads back and forth. With approximately 15 seconds left in the game, Vivian Frieson banked in the game-winning shot for the Bulldogs. Both the first and second round games were played at Bank of America Arena and Gonzaga went to their first ever Sweet 16 with the victory over Texas A&M. Gonzaga played against Xavier women's basketball, the team they defeated 74-59 in the first round the year before. Xavier ended Gonzaga's season with a 74-56 defeat at ARCO Arena in Sacramento.
The next year, Gonzaga went undefeated in West Coast Conference with a perfect 14-0 record for the second year in a row and unbeaten in the WCC tournament in Las Vegas, NV.
Gonzaga's Magical Run in the NCAA Tournament
In the 2011 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament, Graves guided Gonzaga to a 92-86 first round victory over Lisa Bluder's University of Iowa women's basketball team at the McCarthey Athletic Center on March 19. Senior point guard Courtney Vandersloot scored a career-high 34 points to leave her 10 points shy of becoming the first player in NCAA college basketball history to score 2000 points and 1000 assists in their career. Two days later on March 21, Graves' Gonzaga Bulldogs played against one of the toughest defenses in the nation, Nikki Caldwell's UCLA Bruins. With approximately 12 and a half minutes left in the second half, Courtney Vandersloot stole a pass, which was intended to one of the Bruins and she took a fast break to the basket and scored her 2000th point of her career. She became the first NCAA basketball player (men's or women's) to score 2000 points and tally 1000 assists in their career. ESPN showed the viewers Vandersloot's milestone and Hall of Famer John Stockton was also shown, standing in the stands. The Zags went on to win 89-75 over the Bruins to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row. The Zags played against Jeff Walz's Louisville Cardinals, (who upset Xavier, a team that beat Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 a year earlier), 85-75 on March 21 to advance to the Sweet 16 to set up a match-up against Gonzaga at Spokane Arena. The Zags won 76-69 over Louisville, while Tara VanDerveer's Stanford Cardinal won 72-65 over Sylvia Hatchell's North Carolina Tar Heels to set up an Elite 8 matchup with Gonzaga, which is Gonzaga's first ever appearance in the Elite 8. Stanford won over Gonzaga 84-78 at McCarthey Athletic Center on November 21, 2010. The game was played on March 28 and it was the title game for the Spokane Regional to decide who will go to Indianapolis for the Final Four. Gonzaga started out at a close game against Stanford, but Stanford proved to be too much for the Zags and the Zags season ended with an 83-60 loss and Courtney Vandersloot's magical career ended. At the end of the season, there was rumors stating that University of Washington was interested in hiring Graves for head coach, but Graves wasn't interested in the job and he decides to stay with Gonzaga. At the end of March 2011, Gonzaga signed an extension for Kelly Graves to coach the women's team until the 2020-2021 season.
The Post Vandersloot Era
The next year, the Zags went through the conference with a 14-2 with their first WCC loss in nearly three years at home to St. Mary's on January 14 and a 30 point loss to Jeff Judkins' BYU Cougars, which is their biggest loss in nearly 10 years. The Zags were the #1 seed in the WCC tournament and on March 3, they played against the St. Mary's Gaels, which they split the season series. The Zags won 83-78 on Kayla Standish's career-high 31 points to lead the Zags to the WCC Championship Game for the eighth consecutive year with a matchup against BYU. The Zags split the season series with the Cougars. The Zags lost to BYU 78-66, where the Cougars are automatically selected in the NCAA tournament, while the Zags wait to hear if they make the NCAA tournament or not.
2012 NCAA Tournament
On March 12, 2012 since Gonzaga is one of 16 locations to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament, Gonzaga was picked as a #11 seed in the Kingston region as an at-large bid, the first in WCC women's basketball history. This is Gonzaga's fourth consecutive NCAA tournament. The Zags play against Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer's Rutgers Scarlet Knights at the McCarthey Athletic Center on March 17. This is Gonzaga's second year of hosting the NCAA tournament. The Zags started out with a 20-4 lead against Rutgers. Rutgers comes back, but never came closer to ten points, as Gonzaga win 86-73 to set up a match against Katie Meier's Miami Hurricanes, who won 70-41 over Idaho State on March 19 at 6:40 p.m. The Zags defeated the Miami Hurricanes 65-54 for their third Sweet 16 appearance in a row, where they will play against Matthew Mitchell's Kentucky Wildcats at Ryan Center in Kingston, Rhode Island, home of the University of Rhode Island Rams on March 25 at 4 p.m. Gonzaga trailed 43-28 at halftime, and they got as close as 8 points (59-51) before Kentucky put the game away, with Gonzaga losing 79-62 to end their season at 28-6. In April 2012, Graves was named as one of two assistant coaches for the USA U-18 basketball team, coached by Miami Hurricanes women's basketball coach Katie Meier and LSU women's basketball coach Nikki Caldwell is the other assistant coach. The U-18 basketball won gold medal against Brazil, 71-47, which was their sixth straight gold medal.
The next year, Gonzaga went 15-1 in conference play with the lone loss at St. Mary's by a final of 54-51. Gonzaga picked up their ninth consecutive regular crown with a 66-55 win over BYU at their homecourt, where the Zags will be the #1 seed in the WCC tournament. 
Gonzaga defeated BYU 62-43 and defeated San Diego 62-50 to win their fifth WCC Tournament title and they are guaranteed to play at the McCarthey Athletic Center, where they will host Bill Fennelly's Iowa State Cyclones.
2013 NCAA Tournament
The Zags played against Iowa State in a sold out crowd of 6,000; mostly Zags fans. The Zags lost to the Cyclones 72-60, which ended their 15-game winning streak, four straight NCAA Tournament victories at McCarthey Athletic Center, and four consecutive first round victories. The Zags ended the year with a 27-6 record. For the second straight year, Graves was named assistant coach, but this time for the USA U-19 women's basketball team. The USA U-19 team won their seventh straight gold medal with a 61-28 win over France. 
2013-2014 Regular Season
The next year, Gonzaga went 10-2 in non-conference. The biggest highlight in non-conference was the Ohio State game at Value City Arena, where Shaniqua Nilles scored the final four points of the game for the Zags, including the game winning jumper as time expired, where the Zags escaped with a 59-58 win. The Zags went 16-2 in conference play with both losses on the road at St. Mary's by a final of 79-78 in overtime on December 28, which was the start of West Coast Conference and at BYU on February 15 by a final of 62-52. Gonzaga picked up their tenth consecutive regular season crown with a 75-65 win over Saint Mary's at McCarthey Athletic Center on February 27, where the Zags will be the #1 seed in the WCC tournament.
Gonzaga defeated San Francisco 81-68, defeated Saint Mary's 68-60, and defeated BYU 71-57 to win their sixth WCC Tournament title.
2014 NCAA Tournament
Notable Women's Basketball played under Coach Graves
- Heather Bowman- Gonzaga women's basketball all-time leading scorer (2006-2010). Currently Whitworth University Pirates women's basketball assistant coach.
- Katelan Redmon- Gonzaga women's basketball player (2009-2012). Transferred to Gonzaga from University of Washington during the offseason in 2008. Currently a WNBA free agent.
- Courtney Vandersloot- Gonzaga women's basketball all-time assists leader and second-all time leading scorer (2007-2011). She became the first player (either male or female) to score 2,000 points and 1,000 assists in their college basketball career. Currently a WNBA player for the Chicago Sky and Bes,iktas, during the off-season.
Head coaching record
|Saint Mary's Gaels (WCC) (1997–2000)|
|1998–99||Saint Mary's||27-7||9-5||T-2nd||NCAA 1st Round|
|1999–2000||Saint Mary's||20-10||11-3||T-1st||WNIT 1st Round|
|Saint Mary's:||66-26 (.717)||29–13 (.690)||
|Gonzaga Bulldogs (WCC) (2000–present)|
|2003–2004||Gonzaga||18-12||10-4||T-2nd||WNIT 1st Round|
|2004–2005||Gonzaga||28-4||14-0||1st||WNIT 2nd Round|
|2006–2007||Gonzaga||24-10||13-1||1st||NCAA 1st Round|
|2007-2008||Gonzaga||25-9||13-1||1st||WNIT 2nd Round|
|2008-2009||Gonzaga||27-7||12-2||1st||NCAA 2nd Round|
|2009-2010||Gonzaga||29-5||14-0||1st||NCAA Sweet 16|
|2010-2011||Gonzaga||31-5||14-0||1st||NCAA Elite 8|
|2011-2012||Gonzaga||28-6||14-2||1st||NCAA Sweet 16|
|2012-2013||Gonzaga||27-6||15-1||1st||NCAA 1st Round|
|Gonzaga:||316-135 (.701)||157–47 (.770)|
† Also won WCC Tournament Championship.
# Also won WCC Regular Season Championship.
‡ Also won both WCC Regular Season and
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- "Coach Kelly Graves, Gonzaga agree to 10-year extension - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
- "Zags Dealt Worst WCC Loss in 10 Years". Go Zags.com. 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
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- "Gonzaga bows out". Spokesman.com. 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- "Kelly Graves Named Assistant on USA Basketball U18 Team". Gozags.com. 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "USA Women's U18 Team Golden After Erasing Double-Digit Deficit To Eclipse Brazil 71-47". USABasketball.com. 2012-08-19. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
- "BYU women's basketball: Cougar comeback falls short on Senior Day". deseretnews.com. 2013-02-23. Retrieved 2013-02-23..
- "Iowa State wins at No. 12 seed Gonzaga's homecourt in tourney opener". ESPNgo.com. 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2013-03-23.
- "Iowa State wins at No. 12 seed Gonzaga's homecourt in tourney opener". ESPNgo.com. 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2013-03-23.
- "USA Defeats France, Wins Gold Medal at Women’s FIBA U19 World Championship". slamonline.com. 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2013-09-26.
- "Zags defeat Ohio State at the Buzzer". youtube.com. 2013-12-08. Retrieved 2014-03-03.
- "Heather Bowman: Whitworth Inside Athletics". WhitworthPirates.com. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "WNBA.com:Katelan Redmon". WNBA.com. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Courtney Vandersloot Biography". GoZags.com. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "WNBA.com: Courtney Vandersloot". WNBA.com. 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "SKY Vandersloot Overseas". WNBA.com. 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2012-11-20.