Niki Geckeler, who led Howard University to back-to-back 20-plus-win seasons and three postseason tournament appearances, was introduced as the women's basketball coach at Towson on Thursday.
"When we started this search, we went in search of a coach that would possess the characteristics needed to build the Towson women's basketball program into a perennial force in the CAA," Towson athletic director Mike Waddell said. "Niki is just that person … a leader and a winner. She has shown leadership throughout her career as both a player and now as a coach. With her energy and passion for the game, she has recruited great students and athletes and transformed them into championship programs."
The season before Geckeler started with the Bison, in 2007-08, Howard won just four games. In 2011-12, Geckeler compiled a 24-9 mark, tying the program's record for wins in a season. She amassed 85 career wins at Howard, including 44 in the past two seasons.
Under her guidance, the Bison went to the Women's National Invitation Tournament in 2011 and 2012 and the Women's Basketball Invitational this season, the program's first three postseason bids.
"I would like to thank Mike Waddell and the Towson family for naming me the new head women's basketball coach here at Towson University," she said. "What an honor it is to lead a group of great young women to new heights."
Geckeler coached the 2010 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year and the 2011 MEAC Player of the Year, Saadia Doyle, as well as three first-team all-league honorees. Geckeler's teams were in the top 15 in the country in scoring defense in 2012 (14th, 53.0 ppg) and 2013 (sixth, 50.3 ppg).
Howard's women's basketball team had a 100 percent graduation rate during Geckeler's tenure and eight of her student-athletes earned spots on the MEAC all-academic team.
"I look forward to reigniting the excitement which will become synonymous with lady Tiger basketball," she said. "Through hard work, commitment and discipline we will restore the roar."
The Niki Geckeler file
Born: Jan. 22, 1971 Hometown: Hampton, Va.
Education: B.S.–Psychology, Georgetown, 1993
Family: Husband, Timothy; daughter, MaKenzie
She served as team captain and led Georgetown to the 1992-93 Big East Conference co-championship and a berth in the NCAA Sweet 16. Geckeler finished her career ranked in the top 10 for 3-point field goals made, 3-point field-goal percentage, assists and games played.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times