Joanne Boyle was officially introduced today as the fourth head coach in Virginia women's basketball history. Before a crowd that included her mother, along with several Cavalier women's basketball players, Boyle said she was humbled by the opportunity, but was ready to get started.
"No one can replace Hall of Fame coach and icon Debbie Ryan," Boyle said, referring to the legendary Virginia women's basketball coach who announced her resignation nearly a month ago. "I'm proud to acknowledge Debbie as my mentor, and dear friend."
"I want to express how blessed I feel to return to the ACC," Boyle continued. "This job gets me back to the east coast, and closer to my family. I know the ACC. It's a good time in my life to be here."
Athletics Director Craig Littlepage welcomed Coach Boyle into the University of Virginia family, saying that he was searching for a coach who had a history of demonstrated success, along with the proven characteristics of a successful coach at the University of Virginia.
"We were deliberate, we were thorough, but we've indeed found a match," said Littlepage. "She's a great fit, a perfect match."
Boyle, a 1985 graduate of Duke, has spent the last six seasons at California, where she compiled a record of 137-64. Boyle also led Cal to four NCAA tournament appearances; before Boyle arrived, the Golden Bears had suffered through 12 consecutive seasons without a winning record.
During today's press conference, Boyle thanked her current Cal team for their support during this process.
"I struggled with (the decision to leave Cal)," Boyle said. "I'm not saying this was an easy decision...I talked to (men's basketball coach) Tony (Bennett) on the phone about it. We just talked about his time frame when he went through it, and his decision-making process...and just what a great place Virginia is, and the support I'm going to get. Just what a great place Virginia is."
Demonstrating that she had done her homework, Boyle began her remarks by quoting Thomas Jefferson: "Don't talk about what you have done or what you are going to do." Despite being pressed, Boyle refused to make any predictions. Saying "no one's ever going to put more pressure on my than I put on myself," Boyle outlined her coaching style. "I like a running team, I like to push in transition," she said. "I'm also a defensive-minded coach (who likes to) play it aggressively."
Prior to taking over the moribund California program, Boyle coached at Richmond for three seasons, leading the Spiders to 20+ wins in each season. As noted above, she arrives in Charlottesville to take over for a bona fide UVa legend, Debbie Ryan. Ryan coached the Virginia women for 34 seasons.