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posted: 8/15/2013 12:05 PM

NU extends McKeown's basketball deal

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  • Northwestern women's basketball coach Joe McKeown has agreed to a contract extension through the 2017 with the Wildcats.

      Northwestern women's basketball coach Joe McKeown has agreed to a contract extension through the 2017 with the Wildcats.
    Associated Press/2012 file

By Daily Herald News Services

Northwestern women's basketball coach Joe McKeown has been given a contract extension through 2017, school officials announced Thursday.

In his five seasons at Northwestern, McKeown has guided the Wildcats to back-to-back postseason appearances, and helped the program earn its first Big Ten Freshman of the Year honor.

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"With 580 career victories to his name, Joe McKeown remains one of the most accomplished coaches in women's college basketball as well as in our department," said Jim Phillips, NU vice president for Athletics and Recreation. "His teams are consistently recognized for their work in the classroom as CoSIDA Academic All-District honorees and Academic All-Big Ten recipients and have made a direct impact in the community. With the 2013 Big Ten Freshman of the Year returning and two high school All-Americans joining a talented squad coming back for the 2013-14 season, we look forward to a very bright future."

The 27-year coaching veteran has accumulated 580 career wins and a .691 career winning percentage. In just his second season with the program, McKeown led the 2009-10 squad to an 11-win improvement, which was tied for the 10th best turnaround in the nation and ranked fourth among BCS schools.

NU improved to 19 wins the following year and a second straight postseason appearance in the WNIT. Combined, those two seasons yielded 37 victories, two postseason appearances and milestone victories over national powers Ohio State, LSU and DePaul.

Last season, Maggie Lyon was named the consensus Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was one of four Wildcats to receive All-Big Ten honors along with Kendall Hackney, Dannielle Diamant and Karly Roser.

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