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Tricia Cullop
Position: Head Coach
Hometown: Bicknell, IN
Alma Mater: Purdue
Graduating Year: 1993
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Cullop Videos
Tricia Cullop Bio
Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Release: 10/03/2008

On April 28, 2008, Tricia Cullop came to the University of Toledo with the daunting task of rebuilding a Mid-American Conference powerhouse. Fast forward five seasons and Cullop and her squads have hung four postseason banners, including a 2011 WNIT championship banner, two MAC regular-season title banners and four West Division crown banners from the rafters of Savage Arena. Considering the Rockets experienced five-consecutive losing campaigns prior to Cullop’s arrival, UT’s quick turnaround has truly been a testament to her coaching ability.

Under Cullop’s guidance, the Midnight Blue & Gold has amassed an impressive 125-44 overall record and a 65-15 conference mark. Individually, seven Rockets have earned All-MAC honors on 14 occasions — Naama Shafir (first team in 2012-13, first team in 2010-11, second team in 2009-10, honorable mention in 2008-09), Andola Dortch (first team in 2012-13, second team in 2011-12), Yolanda Richardson (second team in 2012-13, second team in 2011-12), Inma Zanoguera (third team in 2012-13), Courtney Ingersoll (third team in 2011-12), Melissa Goodall (third team in 2010-11, honorable mention in 2009-10) and Tanika Mays (first team in 2009-10, second team in 2008-09).

Cullop, who has a 248-154 record in her 13-year coaching career, was named the Toledo head coach in April of 2008, becoming the ninth coach in the program’s history.

A 1993 graduate of Purdue University, Cullop received a bachelor’s degree in communications. As a four-year letterwinner with the Boilermakers, she was part of three-straight NCAA Tournament teams (1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92) and won Purdue’s first-ever Big Ten championship. Cullop was a team captain in 1992-93 and a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection under head coach Lin Dunn. She was named the Purdue Mortar Board Female Student-Athlete of the Year in 1993.

A native of Bicknell, IN, Cullop was a 1989 High School All-American at North Knox High School. She was also a member of the North Squad in the 1991 U.S. Sports Festival.

Cullop is the daughter of Theodore and Jannette Cullop, and has two sisters, Tammy and Tracy.

MAC Brilliance
C
ullop has led Toledo to two MAC regular-season titles (2010-11, 2012-13), four-consecutive West Division championships (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13) and one tournament finalist appearance (2010).

In each of her five years at UT, Cullop has advanced the Rockets to the MAC Tournament Semifinals.

Toledo’s conference record over the last five seasons under Cullop is 65-15 (.813), which ranks a close second behind Bowling Green’s 67-13 (.838).

The three-time MAC Coach of the Year is currently first in league history in conference (.815) win percentage and second overall (125-44, .740) win percentage.

Home Court Dominance
Cullop and the Rockets have been nearly unbeatable in Savage Arena over the last five seasons, compiling a stout 72-10 (.878) ledger. UT has been even more dominant against MAC opponents on its home court, winning 37 of 40 contests (.925). Aiding Toledo’s stellar mark at home under Cullop was a 22-game win streak over the course of the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, second-longest home unbeaten stretch in school history.

Toledo has won at least 11 home contests each season under Cullop, including a school-record 19 victories during the 2010-11 campaign.

With the Rockets’ experiencing great success at home under Cullop, attendance numbers have skyrocketed during this period of time. UT has led the MAC in attendance each of the last five years and seen its average figures increase significantly. During its historic run through the 2011 postseason, the Midnight Blue & Gold posted a school-record and MAC-best 7,301 fans vs. USC in the WNIT Championship Game.

This past season, Toledo averaged 4,012 fans per contest, 25th-highest total in the country. The Rockets drew at least 4,000 fans to nine of their last 12 home games, including a season-high 5,712 fans vs. Kent State on Feb. 16, fourth-largest crowd in school history.

Academic Excellence
The Rockets have been successful in the classroom as well as on the court under Cullop. In her tenure, seven Toledo players have been selected Academic All-MAC on nine occasions and a total of 17 players have made the University’s Dean’s List on 47 occasions. Spearheading the academic surge has been Naama Shafir, who has earned Academic All-MAC recognition on three occasions.

Under Cullop’s tutelage, UT has posted a team grade-point average above 3.0 in nine of 10 semesters. In Spring 2013, eight Rockets posted a 3.0 GPA or higher, including Riley McCormick, Yolanda Richardson, Lecretia Smith, Brianna Jones, Stephanie Recker, Inma Zanoguera, Ana Capotosto and Shafir who earned spots on the University’s Dean’s List (3.5 GPA or higher).

Cullop Stresses Strong Community Involvement
Off the court, the Rockets have been very active in the Toledo community during Cullop’s time at UT, helping with projects such as Habitat for Humanity, Ovarian Cancer Walk, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Sponsor a Family for Christmas.

Earlier this past season, Toledo made another record-setting contribution to Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Northwest Ohio at its sixth-annual "Rockets For the Cure" game on Feb. 16. The Rockets raised $19,845 for breast cancer research, surpassing the previous year’s record total of $18,010.

The pink Nike jerseys that UT wore were made specially for the game. Six of the uniforms that were auctioned off after the contest went for more than $1,000, including a high of $2,000 for senior Naama Shafir.

2012-13: MAC Regular-Season Champions & Fourth Consecutive West Division Crown
Toledo captured its second MAC regular-season championship in the last three years, as well as securing a berth in the WNIT for a fourth consecutive season.

The Rockets compiled a 29-4 record in 2012-13, best single-season mark in UT annals, including a 15-1 MAC ledger. Toledo’s 15-1 conference record signified the third time in school history it posted a .938 win percentage (2000-01, 1991-92). Their 29 wins tied for the most in school history and tied for second most in the MAC record books.

Toledo also cracked the Top 25 for the first time in over a decade. The Rockets sat at No. 25 in the Associated Press media poll with 64 total points for the week of March 4-10. The last time UT was in the Top 25 occurred during the week of Nov. 19-25, 2001 when it stood at No. 24 in the AP Poll after upsetting No. 4 Duke.

For her efforts, Cullop collected RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA Region 4 Coach of the Year recognition, as well as MAC Coach of the Year for a third time in her first five seasons, third-highest total in league history.

The Midnight Blue & Gold has also sported win streaks of 15- and 11-consecutive games this season, ranking in the top seven in school history. UT is one of just 14 programs in the country to win at least 24 games each of the last four seasons.

Toledo also paced the MAC in home attendance for a 23rd straight season with an average of 4,012 fans per contest, the second-highest total in school history and the 25th-best mark in the country. UT totaled a season-high 5,712 fans vs. Kent State, signifying the fourth-largest crowd in school history.

Individually, a school-record tying four Rockets earned spots on the All-MAC teams. Toledo placed senior Naama Shafir and junior Andola Dortch on the All-MAC first team, senior Yolanda Richardson on the second team and sophomore Inma Zanoguera on the third team. UT’s total of four selections tied for the most in the conference with Central Michigan. Shafir also became the first Rocket to garner all-league accolades on four occasions.

In addition, Shafir was selected as one of 52 regional finalists for the WBCA Coaches’ All-America Team for a second time in the last three seasons.

Dortch also repeated as MAC Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the fourth player in league history to earn the top defensive award on more than one occasion.

Academically, the trio of Shafir, Richardson and Zanoguera received all-league recognition. The Rockets were one of two schools to have three student-athletes named to the squad, along with Akron. Shafir also became only the fourth player in school history to be selected Academic All-MAC on three occasions.

As a unit, UT led the MAC in scoring defense (51.5 ppg), field goal percentage defense (34.2%), scoring margin (+14.1 ppg), rebounding margin (+5.7 rpg) and turnover margin (+4.1).

2011-12: Third Consecutive MAC West Division Title & WNIT ‘Elite Eight' Appearance

Toledo claimed a share of the MAC West Division title for a third consecutive season and secured a berth in the WNIT. The Rockets advanced to the ‘Elite Eight' of the postseason tourney, before suffering a heartbreaking overtime loss to Big East member Syracuse. UT wrapped up the season with a 24-10 overall record and a 13-3 mark in the MAC.

The Rockets also paced the league in home attendance for a 22nd consecutive season with an average of 3,748 fans per contest, the second-highest total in school history and the 28th-best mark in the country. UT totaled a season-high 5,131 fans vs. Bowling Green, signifying the 10th-largest crowd in school history.

Individually, sophomore Andola Dortch became the first Rocket to garner MAC Defensive Player of the Year accolades, and three players earned spots on the all-conference teams. UT placed Dortch as well as junior Yolanda Richardson on the All-MAC second team and senior Courtney Ingersoll on the third team. The Rockets' total of three selections tied for the most in the conference with Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan and Miami. In addition, senior Haylie Linn and Ingersoll earned academic all-conference recognition.

As a team, UT paced the MAC in field-goal percentage (42.7%), three-point field-goal percentage (36.0%) and field-goal percentage defense (36.4%). Individually, Ingersoll was the nation's most accurate three-point shooter, connecting on a sensational 44.2 percent (96-of-217) from beyond the arc and ranking 13th in the country in three-point field goals made (2.8). Ingersoll's 96 treys tied a MAC single-season record and her 44.2 three-point field-goal percentage stands second best in UT annals.

2010-11: Postseason WNIT Champions and MAC Regular-Season Champions!!!
The Rockets won a school-record 29 games and became the first MAC basketball program to capture a national postseason tournament in 2010-11. UT's historic WNIT run was capped off by a 76-68 triumph over USC in the championship game before a school and conference women's basketball record 7,301 fans.

Toledo also claimed an outright MAC regular-season championship for the first time in a decade with a 14-2 ledger, as well as successfully defending its MAC West Division title. For her efforts, Cullop garnered The Columbus Dispatch Women's Ohio College Coach of the Year and MAC Coach of the Year accolades for a second time, helping the Rockets finish a league-best 39th nationally in the final RPI ranking.

UT also led the league in attendance for a 21st-consecutive season and ranked 37th nationally, averaging 3,078 fans per contest for the third-highest total in school history. The Rockets ended their historic season on an 18-game win streak in Savage Arena, third-longest unbeaten stretch in school history, and are 57-8 (.877) at home under Cullop.

The 2010-11 Rockets featured regional finalist for the State Farm Coaches' All-America squad and first-team All-MAC selection junior Naama Shafir and honorable mention all-league honoree senior Melissa Goodall. In addition, Shafir and Goodall garnered academic all-conference recognition.

2009-10: MAC West Division Champs & WNIT Qualifier
Toledo claimed the outright 2009-10 MAC West Division title for the first time since 2000-01, as well as advancing to the league-tourney finals. The Rockets' season was given new life after the tourney finals, as they earned an automatic invitation to the WNIT. UT defeated Big East foe Pittsburgh in the first round and moved into the second round for the first time since 1998. Toledo finished 12-4 in conference action and concluded the season with a 25-9 ledger.

Toledo, seeded No. 2 for the league tourney, qualified for the finals for the 13th time in school history by beating No. 7 seed Ball State, 67-56, in the quarterfinals and Kent State, 51-49, in the semifinals. UT's tourney run came to an end with a 62-53 setback to No. 1 seed Bowling Green in the title game.

Toledo also ranked among the top 50 NCAA Division I schools in attendance, averaging 2,720 fans per contest to stand 48th nationally.

Individually, UT featured a regional finalist for the State Farm Coaches' All-America squad and first-team All-MAC selection in senior Tanika Mays. UT also placed sophomore Naama Shafir on the second team and junior Melissa Goodall was named honorable mention all-league. In addition, Shafir earned academic all-conference accolades.

As a team, UT ranked first in the MAC in field-goal percentage (42.8%), assists (15.91 apg), field-goal percentage defense (37.5%), three-point field-goal percentage defense (29.4%) and defensive rebounds (25.79 rpg). Individually, Shafir ranked third in the nation and led the MAC, dishing out 6.68 assists per game.

2008-09: Rockets Burst Upon Scene in Cullop's First Season
In her rookie campaign, Cullop guided the Rockets, picked to finish last in the West Division, to the league's third-best MAC record and an appearance in the semifinals of the postseason tourney. UT finished 11-5 in league play and wrapped up the year with an overall mark of 18-13.

For her efforts on the court, Cullop was selected the MAC co-Coach of the Year, sharing the top honor with Bowling Green's Curt Miller. Her postseason accolade marked the seventh time in school history that a UT coach earned the league award.

Individually, the Rockets were led by junior Tanika Mays and freshman Naama Shafir, who received second-team and honorable-mention All-MAC honors, respectively. In addition, junior Lisa Johnson garnered academic all-conference honors.

Toledo also led the MAC in attendance, averaging 2,674 fans per contest, its third-highest total the last 12 years, including a season-high 5,701 fans vs. Eastern Michigan.

Cullop Establishes Evansville as MVC Contender
Cullop came to Toledo from the University of Evansville where she coached for eight seasons and built the Purple Aces into one of the top programs in the Missouri Valley Conference. She guided her teams to a 73-48 record over her last four campaigns, including 45-27 in league action. In 2007-08, Evansville was 21-12, 13-5 in the Missouri Valley, en route to a share of the school's first regular-season MVC title and a berth into the WNIT. For her achievements, Cullop was named the Missouri Valley Coach of the Year.

Cullop took over the head coaching position at Evansville in 2000 following stints as an assistant coach at Radford, Long Beach State and Xavier. After an initial rebuilding phase, Cullop steadily built the program into a consistent winner. Since the 2004-05 season, the Purple Aces had records of 17-11, 16-13, 19-12 and 21-12. Cullop's 123 wins ranks her second all-time at Evansville, just one win behind former coach Bill Barnett. In her eight seasons at the helm, her teams finished in the top half of the Missouri Valley six times, and defeated non-conference opponents Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati and Temple.

Cullop's team shook off a slow start in her final campaign to win 10 straight conference games and clinch a share of the MVC regular-season title. Evansville lost in the semifinals of the MVC Tournament, but advanced to the WNIT by virtue of its regular-season title. In their first-round WNIT contest, the Purple Aces overcame a 19-point second-half deficit to knock off Ohio Valley Conference champion Southeast Missouri State, 60-58, the first post-season victory in UE women's basketball history. Evansville's post-season ride ended in the second round of the WNIT, as Kansas shot down the Purple Aces at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, KS, 82-60.

Cullop's teams caught the attention of local women's basketball fans, as Evansville set season attendance marks in each of her final six seasons at the helm, culminating with an average of more than 1,500 fans per game in 2007-08, more than double the average when she first assumed the head coaching job in 2000-01. The NCAA recognized Evansville's attendance growth with a "Pack the House" award.

Cullop's teams shone in the classroom, as well. The women's basketball team was one of Evansville's's top academic squads over her last seven years. The team achieved a cumulative team grade point average over 3.15 in Cullop's eight years at the helm, including posting a 3.31 team GPA in 2006-07 school year and a 3.08 GPA in the 2008 fall semester.

Cullop and her team were also very active in the Evansville community, including helping with such projects as Habitat for Humanity, the Race for the Cure and the American Heart Walk. She was also instrumental in creating the "Women's Hoops for the Cure" game, with proceeds from an UE contest going to the Greater Evansville Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to aid in breast cancer research, and the Future Purple Aces Fast B.R.E.A.K. (Basketball Reinforcing Education to Area Kids) program, which uses basketball to help grade school children apply the concepts of math to real-life situations.

Individually, Evansville's players reached new heights under Cullop's guidance. She helped produce 13 All-MVC players, including seven first-team selections during her tenure. Cullop also helped mentor UE's only two MVC Defensive Players of the Year, and a pair of MVC All-Freshman Team selections in her time as head coach.

Cullop's Coaching Origins
Cullop came to Evansville in April 2000 after four years as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Xavier University. While at Xavier, she helped the Musketeers to their best record in school history (26-5 in 1999-2000) and the school's first-ever Atlantic 10 Tournament championship. Xavier captured two NCAA Tournament bids and one WNIT berth in her four years as an assistant coach.

Cullop also had assistant coaching stops at Radford and Long Beach State prior to joining the Xavier staff. In her two seasons at Radford, the Highlanders earned their first two NCAA Tournament berths in school history. All told, Cullop has been a part of seven NCAA Tournaments and six WNIT berths in her 23 years as a player and coach at the collegiate level.

Cullop's Head Coaching Ledger 

Year

School

Overall

Conference

Place

2000-01

Evansville

13-15 (.464)

8-10 (.444)

MVC - T-5th

2001-02

Evansville

15-15 (.500)

9-9 (.500)

MVC - T-4th

2002-03

Evansville

11-16 (.407)

5-13 (.278)

MVC - T-8th

2003-04

Evansville

11-16 (.407)

6-12 (.333)

MVC - 9th

2004-05

Evansville

17-11 (.607)

10-8 (.556)

MVC - 5th

2005-06

Evansville

16-13 (.552)

11-7 (.611)

MVC - 4th

2006-07

Evansville

19-12 (.613)

11-7 (.611)

MVC - T-4th

2007-08

Evansville

21-12 (.636)

13-5 (.722)

MVC - T-1st

2008-09

Toledo

18-13 (.581)

11-5 (.688)

MAC - 2nd (West)

2009-10

Toledo

25-9 (.735)

12-4 (.750)

MAC - 1st (West)

2010-11

Toledo

29-8 (.784)

14-2 (.875)

MAC - 1st (West)

2011-12

Toledo

24-10 (.706)

13-3 (.813)

MAC - T-1st (West)

2012-13

Toledo

29-4 (.879)

15-1 (.938)

MAC - 1st (West)

Totals

13 Years

248-154 (.617)

138-86 (.616)

 

What Coaches are Saying about Tricia Cullop 

"Tricia is one of the bright young coaches in our profession. She has done an outstanding job building a winning program at Evansville, and I have no doubt she will do the same at Toledo. She’s a great communicator, possesses a tremendous work ethic and a passion for the game, and she’s a winner."
- Indiana Fever (WNBA) Head Coach Lin Dunn (Cullop’s coach at Purdue)

"Tricia is one of the rising stars in the coaching profession. She possesses a tremendous work ethic and will have Toledo back on top of the Mid-American Conference in no time."
- Maryland Head Coach Brenda Frese

"Tricia’s hiring is a home run! I love Toledo and I am excited about what Coach Cullop can do to bring the program back to a high level for all the great fans and players who make Lady Rocket basketball so special."
- Iowa State Head Coach Bill Fennelly (Toledo head coach from 1988-95)

     
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