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Tuesday, March 25, 2008


WBCA Regional Coach of the Year Carla Berube

MEDFORD -- Carla Berube, who led the Tufts women's basketball team to the NCAA Tournament "Elite 8" this season, has been selected by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association as the Region 1 (New England) Coach of the Year for the 2007-08 season. The honor is the second of the year for Berube, who was voted New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Co-Coach of the Year.

Berube and the other WBCA Coach of the Year recipients will be honored at the Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coach of the Year Luncheon presented by AstraZeneca during the WBCA National Convention on April 7 at Tampa's Marriott Waterside.

The Jumbo program enjoyed the best season of its 36-year history this winter. They opened with a school record 12-game winning streak, including victories versus regional powers Brandeis University and Salem State College. Tufts went on to finish second in the NESCAC with a 7-2 mark, losing at the buzzer to first-place Amherst in the conference season opener in January. The Jumbos reached the final in the conference tournament for the second consecutive season. They lost again to Amherst, but were a shoe-in for their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.

The Jumbos had an outstanding run in the NCAA's. After holding off local rival Wheaton College in the first round, they defeated site host Mount St. Mary College, 54-38, in the second round. Moving on to the sectionals, Tufts upset University of Mary Washington, a "Final Four" participant a year ago, 48-45 in the "Sweet 16." Against host Messiah in the "Elite 8," Tufts was in the game all the way, but could not overtake the Falcons and lost 55-49. The Jumbos finished 26-4, far surpassing the previous best record by a Tufts team of 19-3 set in 1986-87.

Berube recruits Khalilah Ummah (Litchfield, ME) and Colleen Hart (Needham, MA) won major conference awards this year. Ummah was the NESCAC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Hart, a first-year point guard, was the conference's Rookie of the Year. Tufts finished the season with national top 20 statistics for scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and rebound margin. The Jumbos are the #12 team in the final national poll.

In six seasons at Tufts, Berube has coached the Jumbos to a 103-48 record for an outstanding .682 winning percentage. Additionally, Kate Gluckman, her top assistant in the last two seasons, was recently hired as the head coach at Grinnell College. Berube is a 1997 UConn graduate, where she was a member of the 1995 NCAA Division I national championship team. She played professionally in the American Basketball League before getting into coaching as an assistant at Providence College. She was hired at Tufts in 2002 and her tenure has been marked by the team's emergence regionally and now nationally. She was the NESCAC Coach of the Year last season (2006-07).