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USF’s Jose Fernandez named American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year

Forward Bethy Mununga and guard Elena Tsineke earn first-team All-AAC recognition.
Veteran USF women's coach Jose Fernandez now has been named American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year twice in the last four seasons.
Veteran USF women's coach Jose Fernandez now has been named American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year twice in the last four seasons. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Mar. 7
Updated Mar. 7

Five days after leading USF’s women’s basketball team to the program’s first conference title, Bulls coach Jose Fernandez has been named American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.

Two Bulls players, 6-foot senior Bethy Mununga and sophomore guard Elena Tsineke, made the All-AAC first team, while junior point guard Elisa Pinzan was a second-team pick.

Pinzan, averaging 9.6 points and a league-best 7.0 assists with a 3.32 assist-turnover ratio that ranks sixth nationally, was named the conference’s most improved player.

Junior guard Sydni Harvey (11.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg) was a third-team selection. Sophomore guard Maria Alvarez, shooting a team-best 39 percent from 3-point range (32-for-82), shared Sixth Player of the Year honors with UCF’s Alisha Lewis.

All the league honorees can be found here.

Related: USF women set for conference tourney after badly needed breather

Fernandez, 49, now has won the honor twice in the last four seasons. His team (15-3, 12-2) won a school-record 13 consecutive games this past season, and clinched the program’s inaugural conference title despite a month-long layoff due to coronavirus issues within the league.

He’s among the 10 semifinalists for the 2021 Naismith Coach of the Year award. USF is the No. 1 seed in this week’s AAC tournament in Fort Worth, Texas.

Mununga (11.2 ppg, 12.7 rpg) has 11 double-doubles this season. Tsineke (12.8 ppg) leads the Bulls in scoring and is shooting 85 percent (34-for-40) from the free-throw line.