Coach collected 245 wins
Press conference will be held at 2 p.m. today
Spent last 16 seasons leading the Panthers
Winner advances to take on top-seeded Green Bay
Season comes to a close for Milwaukee
In 15 years at the the helm of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team, Sandy Botham continues to guide the team to the top of the Horizon League and onto the cusp of postseason competition.
Botham has consistently kept UWM in the thick of the league title chase, including second-place-or-better finishes eight times since 1999.
The Horizon League's all-time leader in league wins (151), Botham led the Panthers to the league championship game just three seasons ago. That year, her squad became the first team in league history to play in the tournament first round and advance to the championship game. To do so, UWM had to win three games in five days in three different states.
She has also surpassed 200 coaching wins at Milwaukee, just the latest of a number of milestones she has reached in recent years. In 2007-08, in addition to surpassing 200 wins in her career, she also broke the league record for league coaching wins.
In Botham's 15 years at UWM, she has compiled a 236-204 mark, including a 151-89 mark in Horizon League contests. Not only has Botham led UWM to enormous team success, but she has also aided in individual player development. During the Botham era, 34 players have been selected to the all-league and league all-newcomer teams. She has coached two of the top players in league history in Traci Edwards and Maria Viall. The top two scorers in school history, both players were two-time league players of the year. Edwards graduated as the all-time leading scorer in UWM, state of Wisconsin and Horizon League history. She was the first woman in school, state or league history with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career.
Both Edwards and Viall also carved out professional careers for themselves overseas, where Edwards has been a force in Australia and Bulgaria.
In 2006, Milwaukee advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history after winning the Horizon League Tournament at the Klotsche Center. The homecourt advantage was made possible by UWM's second regular season championship and its first-ever No. 1 seed.
All told, UWM won a school-record 22 games that season, including a school-record 12-straight through the league tournament and 17-of-19 after the calendar turned to 2006. In league play, Milwaukee tied its best ever mark of 14-2 for its share of the league crown.
When the dust settled, Botham collected a third Horizon League Coach of the Year honor and her players garnered six postseason league honors themselves, including newcomer of the year. Two Milwaukee players also received all-league first team awards for the first time in school history.
Botham led the Panthers to their first-ever league crown and NCAA Tournament berth in 2001 and to their first 20-win campaign the following season. Her teams have gone 114-50 in the league since 1999-00.
The building process started right away for Botham, who took over a team that won just four games the year before. She led the squad to 16 wins in 1996-97, earning conference coach of the year honors in the process.
That season started a trend for UWM under Botham's direction. The next year, the Panthers posted an eight-game winning streak and claimed a win over No. 13 Nebraska. The 1999-00 season then included a second-place finish and an undefeated league home campaign.
Botham came to UWM in 1996 following a successful season as head coach at Beloit College in Beloit, Wis. Her team went 22-4 in 1995-96, making it the most successful team in school history. That Beloit squad advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament before losing to eventual national champion UW-Oshkosh.
Before becoming a head coach at the collegiate level, Botham spent five seasons as an assistant at the University of Notre Dame under head coach Muffet McGraw. During her time in South Bend from 1991-95, the Irish won the league regular-season title twice, the league tournament twice and twice went to the NCAA Tournament. Prior to her assistantship at her alma mater, Botham spent a year in Milwaukee, assisting Marquette University head coach Jim Jabir in 1990-91.
As a player, Botham played at Notre Dame from 1984-88. A four-time all-league performer, she ranks among the top-10 in career scoring (1,460), rebounding (773) and field goal percentage (.588).
A native of Madison, Wis., Botham attended Madison West High School from 1980-84 where she was a standout in three different sports. In addition to basketball, Botham starred in volleyball and softball at West High. As a sophomore, Botham helped lead Madison West to the state basketball championship.
Botham was inducted into the Madison Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007. She will also be inducted into the WBCA Hall of Fame as a player with the 2011 class.
Botham earned her bachelor's degree from Notre Dame in 1988 while majoring in psychology with a minor in business. Botham remained in South Bend for her graduate work, earning a Masters of Science in Administration from the school in 1990.