|Title:||Head Women's Basketball Coach|
Betsy Witman enters her 16th season at the helm of the Spartan women’s basketball team and the program has never been better. Coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances including a trip to the 2012 Sweet 16, Witman welcomes back an outstanding core of returners complimented by three newcomers as the Spartans look to enhance their status as one of the region’s top programs.
Witman took over her current post on August 1, 1997. She serves as the associate athletic director in addition to her duties on the hardwood. The 2008-2009 Spartans had the greatest season in school history as they won 27 games, earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament, advanced to the Sweet 16, won a school-record 25 straight games, and went a perfect 16-0 in the Capital Athletic Conference regular season. For her efforts, Witman was named the CAC Coach-of-the-Year and also earned WBCA Regional Coach-of-the-Year.
The Spartans got Witman her first Capital Athletic Conference Tournament championship in 2011 as the Spartans made a run through the conference tournament, culminating with a 70-66 win over Wesley College in the tournament championship game. That earned the Spartans their second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three years. It also earned Witman her third CAC Coach-of-the-Year award. She earned her other two CAC Coach-of-the-Year awards in 2002 and 2009. Witman begins the season with a mark of 127-77 in Capital Athletic Conference action over the last 14 seasons. York has reached double figures in conference wins six times.
The 2011-12 season started with great promise and the Spartans didn't disappoint as the Green and White went 24-6, spent most of the season in the regional rankings, advanced to the CAC championship game and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years. The Spartans went 14-2 in the CAC with their only two losses coming to nationally ranked Mary Washington. In fact, all six of York's losses on the year came to nationally ranked squads. The Spartans placed a Capital Athletic Conference record four players on the All-CAC team. Senior April Sparkman earned All-American honors for the Spartans, the third player Witman has had earn the prestigious honor.
Witman posted her 100th career win on February 9, 2004, in a 68-64 win over Elizabethtown. She captured her 150th career win on November 20, 2007, against Goucher. Witman crossed the 200-career win milestone on January 13, 2010 with the 67-64 win at Salisbury. Win number 250 came in the NCAA Tournament victory at Juniata on March 3, 2012. Witman enters the 2011-12 campaign with a career mark of 250-183, good for a winning percentage of 57.7%.
She has recruited and coached two CAC Player-of-the-Year award winners (Heather Kessler in 2004 and Keli Ward in 2009) and four CAC Rookie-of-the-Year selections (Amy Anderson in 1997, Kristen Daly in 2005, Keli Ward in 2006, and Kristen Haley in 2011). Witman has also had 15 different players earn a combined 28 All-CAC awards.
Witman came to York after four seasons of serving as the women’s assistant coach at Millersville University. The Marauders won 57 games during Witman’s tenure at Millersville including a 17-9 season in 1996-97. In addition to coaching at Millersville, Witman has also served as an assistant at the University of Delaware.
Witman is not a stranger to York County basketball. She was born and raised in Hanover before traveling to James Madison University where she was a 1,000 point scorer for two Sweet 16 teams. She earned her undergraduate degree in Physical Education/Sport Management from JMU and her master’s degree in Physical Education/Sports Medicine from the University of Delaware. She was named one of the best five high school players in York County over the last 40 years by the York Dispatch. She is also a member of the Hanover High School Athletic Hall of Fame and recently received the Hanover Alumni Career Achievement Award.
“I am happy with the direction of our program,” says Witman. “I think we have built the program up to where it is a very attractive option for talented student-athletes. I want us to build on the success of the last five years and continue to maintain our status as one of the top programs in the region and the nation. The Grumbacher Center is one of the finest facilities in the east coast if not the nation.”
“With our outstanding academic reputation and reputable athletic program, I am confident in our team’s ability to continue to make York College very proud. We have a great group of kids who work hard and possess the talent to make this a very special program,” says Witman.
The Spartans continue to be outstanding academically. After reaching the pinnacle in 2005, the Spartans finished second in 2006 and again in 2008. They have now finished in the top two in four of the last nine academic years.