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Longtime Women's Basketball Coach Honored; New Women's Golf Coach Hired

Today was an important day for women's athletics at the University of Georgia, for two reasons.

First of all, Andy Landers was selected for induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Coach Landers, who became Georgia's first full-time women's basketball coach in 1979 at the age of 26, is 684-215 in his 28 seasons with the Lady Bulldogs.

Among Division I basketball coaches, he ranks second in N.C.A.A. tournament bids and sweet 16 appearances while ranking fourth in tournament victories and final fours. In a cruel twist of fate, however, Coach Landers will be among the six coaches honored on Saturday at the Historic Tennessee Theatre . . . in Knoxville.

That seems a bit like inducting Phillip Fulmer into the College Football Hall of Fame in Gainesville, but congratulations are in order, nevertheless.

Also, Andy Landers writes a heck of an advice column!

Secondly, following a month of turmoil after Todd McCorkle resigned in the face of sexual harassment allegations, Damon Evans announced the hiring of Kelley Hester as the new Georgia women's golf coach.

Coach Hester is a Macon native and University of Georgia alumna who graduated cum laude from the prestigious Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1995. During her student career in the Classic City, she played on two S.E.C. championship teams in 1993 and 1994, was thrice named to the all-conference team, was twice named to the National Golf Coaches Association's all-scholar team, and finished in the top 20 in 21 of the 40 events in which she played.

In addition to serving as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Coach Hester has been the head women's golf coach at Mercer, U.N.L.V., and, most recently, Arkansas. She just completed a one-year term as president of the N.G.C.A. and she previously served as the female student-athlete representative on the University's Athletic Board.

Coach Hester, who is married and has an infant daughter, said of her hiring: "In my mind, there's nothing better than being a Bulldog."

How do I love this hire? Let me count the ways. Native Georgian? Check. University of Georgia graduate? Check. Previous experience as a Georgia assistant? Check. Prior S.E.C. head coaching experience? Check. Leadership in her field as both a student and a coach? Check. Highly unlikely to compliment her players on their purple underwear? Check.

Obviously, you can never judge the quality of any coaching hire based solely on the press conference, but all of the evidence before us suggests that Damon Evans made a wise decision that very well could turn out to be a home run.

We here at Dawg Sports send our congratulations to Coach Landers and welcome Coach Hester home.

Go 'Dawgs!