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Big Rapids, Mich. - After 14 seasons as the head women's basketball coach at Ferris State University, Tracey Dorow is moving to the NCAA Division I level as she was announced today (April 23) as the new head coach at Valparaiso University.
Dorow guided the Bulldogs to four NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division championships, and four 20-win seasons in 14 seasons as the Bulldogs' head coach.
"This is a very good opportunity for Tracey, her husband Rob and their young family," said FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. "We are happy for them and certainly wish them all the best in their move to Valparaiso and the transition to D1 women's basketball.
"At the same time, we look forward to our search process that should generate a lot of interest and attract many outstanding applicants. We've already met with the team and also contacted our two signees and have assured them of our commitment to moving this program forward. We'll post the position and begin a full and complete search as soon as possible," he added.
Valparaiso Athletics Director Mark LaBarbera appointed Dorow as the Crusaders' seventh head coach in program history at the Horizon League school.
"I feel extremely blessed the Lord has guided my path to Valparaiso University," Dorow said. "The school is a perfect fit for me and my family. From the minute I walked onto campus I felt right at home. Its mission to develop young student-athletes into servant leaders in church and society parallels my mission as a coach."
In her 14 seasons at Ferris State, Dorow compiled a 232-163 (.587) record, including a 23-7 mark in 2011-12 while guiding the Bulldogs to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The all-time winningest coach in FSU history, she led her squad to the Sweet Sixteen in 2007.
The GLIAC Coach of the Year in 2003-04, Dorow has had five players earn a total of seven All-American honors and has had seven players tally 10 total all-region team accolades while with the Bulldogs. Her student-athletes earned All-GLIAC honors 22 times and 10 times she has had players represented on the GLIAC All-Defensive Team. Under Dorow's guidance, Ferris State produced the GLIAC Player of the Year in 2000-01 and she twice coached the GLIAC Freshman of the Year, including this past season.
"We are extremely excited to have Tracey Dorow as our next head coach of the women's basketball program here at Valpo," LaBarbera stated. "She is a skilled leader and coach, as demonstrated by the success of her teams over her entire tenure at Ferris State. This success was seen both on the court and in the classroom. She has a passion for helping young women develop and grow both on and off of the court."
Dorow's student-athletes have also excelled in the classroom, as three times she has led a First Team Academic All-American and 14 times her players have earned Academic All-District honors while at FSU. A total of 39 different players had earned GLIAC All-Academic selections entering this past season. Ferris State posted the No. 1 grade point average in the country in Division II for the 1999-00 women's basketball season and her team ranked second in the nation in 2002-03.
Dorow began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Lake Michigan Community College in Benton Harbor, Mich., where she helped lead the Indians to a 69-22 record in three seasons, winning two Western Collegiate Conference titles. Lake Michigan finished fourth in the 1997 NJCAA national tournament and held a No. 1 national ranking in February of that same season. She also spent one season as a graduate assistant at the University of Indianapolis.
A collegiate player at Illinois State from 1990-92, she led the Redbirds in assists as a sophomore while finishing seventh in the Gateway Conference that same season. After transferring to Northern Michigan University for the 1993-94 season, she earned Newcomer of the Year and Best Defensive Player honors for the Wildcats.
Eight letterwinners are expected to return for the Bulldog women's basketball team in 2012-13, including three starters. Among the players eligible to return are All-America guard Sarah DeShone and post player Christina Branch, who was this year's GLIAC Freshman of the Year. Together, they helped the Bulldogs win the school's first outright league crown with a school-record tying 23-7 overall mark in 2011-12.