basketball staff Borton At A Glance BORN: August 22, 1965 HOMETOWN: Fayette, Ohio COLLEGE: Defiance College (Ohio), 1987, B.S. in Physical Education Bowling Green, 1988, M.S. in Sport Management COACHING HIGHLIGHTS: • Became the 10th University of Minnesota head women’s basketball coach on May 24, 2002 • Led Minnesota to post-season tournament appearances in each of her seven seasons with the Golden Gophers • Won 100 games at Minnesota faster than any coach in school history • The first coach in Big Ten history to win 25 or more games in each of her first three seasons • Guided the Golden Gophers to the 2004 Final Four, the first Final Four in school history • Spearheaded the fundraising for the Gophers’ $1 million locker -room renovation completed in the summer of 2005 • Directed Minnesota to a 26-8 record in 2004-05, the most wins in the NCAA era and the program’s third consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 berth • Named the 2004 National Coach of the Year by the New England Basketball Hall of Fame • Led the Golden Gophers to a 25-6 record and their first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in her first season at Minnesota • A finalist for 2003 and 2005 Naismith National Women’s Coach of the Year honors • Helped Boston College to a 102-51 record and NCAA Tournament appearances in 1999, 2000 and 2002 • Spent four seasons as the head coach at Vermont, posting a 69-46 record • Led Catatmounts to NCAA Tournament appearance and North Atlantic Conference title in 1994 • As a Vermont assistant, helped direct the Catamounts to a then-NCAA record 53 consecutive regular-season victories in 1991-92 and 1992-93 • Noted public speaker and basketball camp clinician PLAYING HIGHLIGHTS: • Earned third-team NAIA All-America honors her junior and senior seasons at Defiance • The 1987 Conference and District Player of the Year • A three-time all-conference selection • Inducted into the Defiance Athletic Hall of Fame (Fall, 2007)
first three seasons, accomplishing this feat at Minnesota from 2002-05. Borton’s 76 wins over a span of her first three seasons with the Gophers ranks second in Big Ten annuals. Even some of the greatest names in the history of coaching, such as Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemna, are unable to boast of a trio of 20plus win seasons out of the blocks, much less 25-plus. Borton’s 26 wins in the 2004-05 campaign were the most in school history during the NCAA era. On the heels of the Gophers’ historic trek to the 2004 Final Four, Borton guided her 2004-05 squad to the highest of expectations where the Gophers succeeded on a level never before seen in school history. Minnesota tallied 26 wins and earned passage to the Gophers’ third straight Sweet 16. The Gophers went farther than ever in the Big Ten Tournament, finishing as the tourney runner-up, losing a tough finale to Michigan State. Overall, the Gophers’ 26-8 overall record would include six losses to teams that played in the 2005 Final Four. Minnesota was ranked No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches National Poll and No. 12 in the Associated Press National Poll to complete the 2004-05 campaign. At season’s end, Borton saw her senior AllAmerican Janel McCarville named the No. 1 pick overall by the Charlotte Sting in the 2005 WNBA Draft to become the first player from the Big Ten Conference to be drafted No. 1 overall. In addition to McCarville collecting several All-America awards, Borton herself was honored as one of 25 finalists for the Naismith Coach of the year award for the second time in three years. Borton led the Gophers to their first Final Four in school history and a record of 25-9 in the 2003-04 campaign. The national exposure gave Borton the opportunity to announce the arrival of the Golden Gophers as one of the elite teams in the nation. Minnesota has been nationally ranked in every poll during Borton’s tenure, peaking at No. 4 in the ESPN/USA Today following the Final Four. However, it was the fascinating march to the Final Four that made Minnesota a household name across the nation and one of the most popular sporting teams ever in its home state. The Gophers accomplished many program firsts during the 2003-04 season in addition to their Final Four appearance. Minnesota started the season with 15 consecutive victories; the longest overall winning streak and the best start to a season. At 15-0, the Gophers were the last undefeated team in the nation. The team was ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press national poll for a school-record eight weeks. As Minnesota’s national ranking soared, so did its attendance figures. A record crowd of 14,363 packed Williams Arena to see the Gophers defeat then No. 5ranked Penn State on Feb. 8, 2004. Minnesota’s average of 11,281 in conference games led the Big Ten. Final attendance numbers reached six figures for the first time in school history and by season’s end, the Gophers averaged 9,703 fans per game, an average that ranked sixth in the nation.
Minnesota was selected to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the first time the Gophers played host to a March Madness contest in Williams Arena. After defeating UCLA and Kansas State at home, fans followed the Golden Gophers as they continued their tournament run in the NCAA Mideast Regional in Norfolk, Va., with wins over Boston College and Duke. The win over Duke marked the first win in school history over a team ranked No. 1 in the nation. Thanks to record-setting attendance figures in 2004, both at home and on the road, Williams Arena hosted the first and second rounds of NCAA Tournament play in 2005 and 2007. Following the season, the Gophers’ All-America guard and all-time leading scorer Lindsay Whalen was drafted at No. 4 by the Connecticut Sun, becoming the first Minnesota player drafted into the WNBA and the highest pick in Big Ten history. Borton also collected the honor of National Coach of the Year awarded by the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. Minnesota posted a record of 25-6 in 2002-03, Borton’s first season with the Golden Gophers. The mark was the school’s best overall record during the NCAA era until her squad bettered it with 26 wins in 2004-05. The Gophers collected their first top-10 national ranking during the season and advanced to their first Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Borton was again among 25 national finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award. Minnesota fans flock to historic Williams Arena to support their Golden Gophers. In Borton’s six seasons, Minnesota has ranked in the top 10 of the national attendance figures four times, including top-5 showing in both the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. Before the Borton era, there were only two crowds of over 10,000 spectators in the Gopher record book. There are now 21, highlighted by a sell-out of The Barn on Feb. 8, 2004, versus Penn State. When Big Ten opponents come to town, the Gophers’ attendance figures are even more impressive. Minnesota has ranked first in conference attendance the last three of the last four seasons. Since Borton’s arrival in 2002, Minnesota has posted four of the top 12 conference-only average attendance figures in Big Ten history. An average attendance of 11,281 fans per game in the 2003-04 season was the best in Gopher history and ranks second all-time in Big Ten history. Borton has also made a huge contribution off the court, both in the University community and the communities throughout the state of Minnesota. Borton served as the department spokesperson for the University’s 2005 Community Fund Drive campaign. She also engaged and succeeded in leading a $1 million fundraising campaign for a new lockerroom for the Golden Gophers completed in 2006. A sought-after speaker in the public and private sectors, Borton has entertained several crowds with her message of success, including recent appearances with metro area Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, and Professional Women in Business groups, as well as several large local companies such as Best Buy, Cargill and Comcast. Coach Borton was named as the Minnesota women’s basketball coach on May 24, 2002, the seventh head coach in the history of Golden Gopher women’s basketball. Previously, Borton spent five years (1997-2002) at Boston College, where she was promoted to associate head coach for the last two years. She served as the Eagles’ recruiting coordinator and produced top 25 recruiting classes three times. Borton helped the Eagles to a 102-51 record, including NCAA Tournament berths in 1999, 2000 and 2002. Boston College advanced to the second round of 45 * Minnesota Basketball