Women's basketball coaches and media select Wyoming third in poll
UW will face nine teams that participated in postseason play
UW ends season 20-11 overall
UW struggles with 19 turnovers
Wyoming reaches nine wins in the conference
A thank you message to the fans from Cowgirl Basketball Head Coach Joe Legerski, 3-25-11
Photos from the 2011 WNIT
2010 Wyoming Cowgirls - WNIT
Wyoming vs. TCU
Images from the Wyoming Cowgirl's 2008 NCAA Tournament First Round game against Pitt, March 22nd.
2006 Wyoming Cowboy and Cowgirl Basketball Media Day, 10/18/06
Joe Legerski will be entering his 11th season as the head women's basketball coach at the University of Wyoming. He was named head coach on May 1, 2003 and became the sixth head coach in Cowgirl history.
It was quite a turnaround in 2012-13 after a previous year that saw the Cowgirls win just 12 games. Wyoming started off the season going 12-4 overall in non-conference action which equaled their win total from the previous season. During that time, Legerski would become the all-time winningest coach with a 72-50 victory over Pepperdine (11/24/12). His record currently stands at 196-115 overall. They finished the year off with a 24-8 overall record. The 24-wins ties for third most in school history. Wyoming has also reached 20-plus wins in six out of the last eight seasons under Legerski. In league action, the Cowgirls improved their record by five games going 12-4 and finishing third. The 12-wins tied the most conference wins with the 2007-08 and 2010-11 teams. They reached the postseason for the sixth time in ten seasons as well. Four Cowgirls earned postseason honors for the tenth straight season led by senior Chaundra Sewell. She earned First Team All-Conference and All-Defensive Team honors. Sophomore Kayla Woodward was selected Second Team while senior Ashley Sickles and sophomore Kaitlyn Mileto were named Third Team All-Mountain West. Sewell also garnered WBCA Honorable Mention All-America honors and All-Region VII honors, while being named Capital One Third Team Academic All-American.
He recorded his first career coaching victory on Dec. 13, 2003, as Wyoming defeated Montana State Billings, 62-51. His first conference win came on Jan. 17, 2004 against rival BYU.
In his first season, he guided the Cowgirls to an 11-18 record overall and a 6-8 mark in the Mountain West Conference including their first ever Mountain West Conference Tournament victory in school history. Two Cowgirls also garnered All-Conference awards as he earned MW Coach of the Year honors in his first year with the program.
In 2004-05, he helped the Cowgirls to a 16-12 overall mark, along with a 7-7 record and a fourth place finish in the MWC. It was the highest they'd finished in conference play since 1996-97. They swept BYU for the first time since 1994-95 and earned a 72-67 win over the Colorado Buffaloes which snapped a 13-game losing streak. Three Cowgirls earned All-MW awards including Ashley Elliott who earned First Team All-MW honors for the second year in a row.
For the 2005-06 season, the Cowgirls completed the year 21-9 overall, while finishing 10-6 overall in the Mountain West Conference. They made an appearance in the WNIT for only the third time in school history. The 21-wins were at the time the most since the 1989-90 season when they went 24-8 and the ten conference victories at the time tied an all-time school record which was set in 1978-79. Three Cowgirls garnered All-Conference honors, including Hanna Zavecz who earned First Team All-MW and Defensive Player of the Year honors along with Megan McGuffey who took home the MW Newcomer of the Year award.
During the 2006-07 campaign, it was a magical year for Legerski and the Cowgirls as they won the WNIT Postseason Championship over the Wisconsin Badgers. Wyoming went 6-0 enroute to the championship. They completed the season with a program best 27-9 record, which eclipsed the 24-8 mark set in 1989-90, and the 11-5 record and second place finish in the league standings were the second most wins in both the MW and school history. It was the also the first time in school history that a Cowgirl team had won at least 20 games in back-to-back seasons, along with being invited to post season play. For the second year in a row, Hanna Zavecz was named First Team All-MW and Justyna Podziemska was named MW Newcomer of the Year along with earning Second Team All-MW honors.
In 2007-08, the Cowgirls continued where they left off from the previous season as further marks where broken. They started off with an 18-1 record, which was the best start in school history, and tied for the best in the MWC as well. With 24 wins, they recorded their third straight 20-win season, which had never been done in the programs' history, and with a 12-4 mark in conference play it also was the most conference wins breaking the 11 wins set the year before. Their play helped them earn the Cowgirl programs' first ever bid to the NCAA Tournament. For the first time in school history, they were also ranked among the Top 25 teams in the country by both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Division I Coaches' Poll. Their highest ranking was 15th in the AP (1/28/08) and 16th in the Coaches' Poll (1/29/08). As a team, they were ranked in either poll for 13 weeks during the season and received votes for the other six polls. Wyoming was also honored with several individual awards. Hanna Zavecz was named First Team All-Mountain West for the third straight year, while being named the MW Defensive Player of the Year, Justyna Podziemska earned Second Team All-MW honors for the second straight year, and Aubrey Vandiver was awarded Third Team All-MW honors. Zavecz also garnered Honorable Mention All-America accolades by the Associated Press and for the second year in a row was named to the State Farm Coaches' Honorable Mention All-America Team.
In his sixth season with the Cowgirls, they wrapped up the year with a 16-14 record overall and an 8-8 mark in MW. With a victory over Denver (11/14/08), he would reach his 100th career victory, the fastest head coach to achieve that mark in school history. Four Cowgirls earned conference honors as Hillary Carlson was named Second Team All-MW, Megan McGuffey was Third Team All-MW, Kristen Scheffler was Honorable Mention All-MW and Emma Langford was named the Sixth Player of the Year.
Under his guidance in 2009-10, the Cowgirls recorded a 20-win or more season finishing with a 21-12 overall record and a 9-7 mark in the MWC. It was the fourth time out of the five seasons that a Wyoming team had recorded 20-wins or more, along with their sixth consecutive winning season. His teams have played in postseason a record number of times as well. They had played beyond the regular season in four of his seven years, which included the last four of five. Three Cowgirls garnered conference honors for the seventh straight year under Legerski as Hillary Carlson and Aubrey Vandiver were each named to the Second Team All-MW, while Emma Langford earned Third Team All-MW honors.
It was another record setting year for the Cowgirls during the 2010-11 basketball campaign. Wyoming posted their fifth 20-win season out of the last six years by going 24-9 overall and 12-4 in the Mountain West Conference. The 12 conference victories tied for the most wins set by the 2007-08 team and the 24 wins tied for the third most wins in school history. It also marked the Cowgirls seventh consecutive winning season and the second time in the last eight years they recorded back-to-back 20-win seasons. Wyoming continued their lastest run through the post-season under Legerski. They were selected to participate in the WNIT for the second year in a row and the fourth time in the Legerski era. With a win over Air Force (1/22/11), he reached 150 wins for his career. The awards followed as well for UW. For the first time in MW history and only the second time in school history, a Cowgirl player earned Player of the Year honors. Aubrey Vandiver was named the Mountain West Player of the Year for her performance during the MW season. She and fellow senior Hillary Carlson were both named First Team All-MW, while Jade Kennedy and Chaundra Sewell each earned Honorable Mention All-MW.
It was a rebuilding year in 2011-12 with the program having to replace four graduating seniors including MW Player of the Year Aubrey Vandiver and First Team All-MW selection Hillary Carlson. Depsite finishing the non-conference schedule 4-9, they would rally in Mountain West play to go 7-7 on their way to a fifth place finish. The Cowgirls finished the season 12-17 overall and 1-1 at the MW championships. They won their opener against the TCU Frogs but lost to the eventual conference champion and number one seed San Diego State Aztecs. Three players garnered postseason honors for the ninth straight year. Chaundra Sewell was selected Second Team All-Conference and to the All-Defensive Team. Freshman Kayla Woodward earned Third Team All-Conference honors followed by junior Ashley Sickles who was an Honorable Mention All-MW selection.
During his time, the Cowgirls have been successful in the classroom as well. He has coached 59 Academic All-MW student-athletes, while 40 have been named MW Scholar Athlete.
Legerski came to Wyoming following a highly-successful stint at the University of Utah. As an assistant (1991-1998), and later associate head coach (1998-2003) for Elaine Elliott, he was part of the most successful women's program in the history of both the Western Athletic and Mountain West Conferences. The Utes compiled a 254-96 record while he was there, including seven league titles. They were 135-35 in conference play.
Legerski earned a bachelor of science degree in business education from UW in 1979. He was an assistant with the Cowgirls from 1987 through 1991, before taking the Utah position. He was the head women's basketball coach at Western Wyoming College (Rock Springs) for one season, finishing second in the region. Prior to that he was the head women's basketball coach at Rock Springs High from 1984 to 1986.
Legerski, and his wife, Jamie, are parents of three children, stepson Zane Beadles, daughter Madison and son Joseph III.