Air Force did not wait for a new athletic director to reward one of its top coaches.
Women’s basketball coach Chris Gobrecht, who appears to have the long-suffering program pointed in a positive direction, agreed to a five-year extension Friday that will keep her with the Falcons through the 2022-23 season.
“Chris Gobrecht has done an amazing job building our women’s basketball program,” Air Force interim athletic director Jennifer Block said in a press release. “Her passion and dedication are clear and we couldn’t be happier that she has agreed to continue to lead our young women on their journey to becoming leaders of character for our Air Force.”
Gobrecht, 63, helped the Falcons to a program record for most Mountain West wins (five) in 2017-18, as they finished tied for eighth in the 11-team conference. A 38-year Division I coaching veteran with stints in the Pac-12, ACC and Ivy League, Gobrecht pulled this off with a roster that had nine freshmen, including two starters. Air Force won four of its final six games, including a win over Wyoming (which at the time was No. 1 in the Mountain West standings) and a MW Tournament victory over Boise State.
Prior to winning three of its final five regular-season games in conference play, the Falcons had been 24-269 in Mountain West action since the league was created.
The Falcons went 6-25 this past year, following a 4-25 mark in 2016-17 and 1-28 in her first season.
Gobrecht was the first high-profile hire for Jim Knowlton, the athletic director who left this past month to take the same position at California.
“The past three years of building the women’s basketball program at the Air Force Academy have been among the most rewarding of my career,” Gobrecht said. “They have also been hands down, the most challenging. Thanks to great support from our administration, and the hard work and incredible dedication of our entire coaching staff, Air Force women’s basketball is on its way to being a powerful contender in the Mountain West Conference, as well as a nationally relevant program. I am grateful to the Air Force Athletics administration for the faith they are showing in the efforts and abilities of this coaching staff, by extending my contract through 2023 at this time. I know we are all very much looking forward to continuing to work with some of the finest young people in America to develop great leaders, great citizens, and outstanding basketball performance!”