GW's McKeown leaving to take Northwestern job

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern University hired Joe McKeown, who had a 19-year tenure at George Washington University and compiled 509 career wins, as the women's head basketball coach Monday.

"There is no question that he is one of the best and most accomplished coaches in college basketball right now. Joe's experience and commitment is unmatched," Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips said at a news conference.

McKeown's .745 winning percentage (509-174) ranks 13th among active NCAA women's coaches. He leaves George Washington as the winningest coach in school history (441-154) and in the Atlantic 10 Conference. In 22 seasons as a college head coach, McKeown has guided a team to postseason play 19 times. He coached the Colonials to 14 regular-season or postseason Atlantic 10 crowns.

"I have been fortunate to have coached at a world-class university for the past 19 years and had so many terrific student-athletes. I will continue to use that formula at Northwestern," McKeown said.

After spending three seasons as the head coach at New Mexico State, where he went 68-20 and appeared in two NCAA tournaments, McKeown went to George Washington in mid-September 1989. After his first squad went 14-14, McKeown quickly turned the Colonials into an elite women's college program with his teams averaging nearly 24 wins per year the next 18 seasons.

He will take over a program that was 24-95 overall and 7-59 in Big Ten play in four seasons under former coach Beth Combs. She resigned May 7, after Northwestern went 5-26 overall while finishing last in the Big Ten at 1-17.