The Buffs like keeping things in the herd.
Returning to the school where she departed from with a college degree and a myriad of basketball honors, officials presented Linda Lappe Monday morning as the new women’s head coach for CU at a news conference at the Coors Events Center.
“I can’t think of another place that I’d rather be than right here on this campus, soon to be wearing the black and gold,” Lappe said. “When I left here, I knew I always wanted to be back, and today I’m back. I’m looking forward to starting, and I’m looking forward to all of the challenges.”
Athletic director Mike Bohn and the seven member committee decided on the former Buff after a nationwide search.
“She fits all these categories and so I think that’s incredibly special,” Bohn said at the conference. “I think that’s attributed to Coach Lappe but also the committee that really followed directions and really were focused on putting this together. It is really something special when you see it come together the way it has.”
Lappe’s contract is slated for five-year deal with additional terms to be released if the contract is approved by the CU Board of Regents.
Members of the committee included former women’s head coach Ceal Barry, who coached Lappe during her time at CU.
A successful three-year tenure as the head coach of the Metropolitan State College of Denver Roadrunners women’s team accompanies Lappe as she embarks on her third Division-I coaching position.
Lappe said she wants to instill a sense of Buffalo pride among the CU women’s basketball tradition.
“We have such rich tradition here, and it’s a great thing when you have that tradition,” Lappe said. “The last couple of years have not necessarily been the best, but there is such a great group of players here that really want to make changes and really want to get on a winning track and make it to the NCAA tournament. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get them to those goals.”
Only the third-youngest head coach in the nation, Lappe is second only to Barry who was 28 when she was named head coach.
But her experience overshadows her age.
Lappe arrives in Boulder after three successful seasons with Metro State. She coached the Roadrunners to a 50-36 overall record and one NCAA Tournament berth.
Replacing Kathy McConnell-Miller, who was fired on March 29, the new head coaches’ resume includes coaching positions at Colorado State and Drake.
As a player, Lappe was a two-year captain and a three-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree. She was named offensive MVP at Colorado during her freshman campaign, finished as a finalist for the V Foundation Comeback of the Year after an injury-laden redshirted junior year, and led the Buffs to an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA tournament in 2002.
Lappe is well-aware of her age, as well as that of the current women’s basketball state.
“The time table isn’t exactly how I envisioned it…there will be challenges, I am young, but at the same time, I utilize my resources around me,” Lappe said. “I will continue to learn the game. Everything I do is not going to be perfect, but I will hire great people around me and continue to learn and grow to get better every single year.”
Her hiring takes place the same day as the men’s basketball head coach, Jeff Bzidlek, finds himself in North Carolina in talks for the vacant Wake Forest men’s basketball head coach position.
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Esteban L. Hernandez at Esteban.firstname.lastname@example.org.