THE FLATS – Georgia Tech women’s basketball coach Nell Fortner has signed a two-year contract extension, Tech athletics announced on Thursday.
Combined with the four years remaining on her original six-year agreement, Fortner’s contract to serve as the Yellow Jackets’ head coach now runs through the 2026-27 season.
“In just two seasons on The Flats, Coach Fortner has led our women’s basketball program to unprecedented heights, including an outstanding run to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 this past spring,” Georgia Tech director of athletics Todd Stansbury said. “In addition to the historic on-court results, Coach Fortner’s team has excelled academically and she and her student-athletes have been incredible representatives of Georgia Tech, on and off the court. I’m looking forward to her and her team continuing to compete at the highest levels of women’s basketball for years to come.”
Fortner was named the sixth head coach in Georgia Tech women’s basketball history on April 9, 2019. In her two seasons at the helm, the Yellow Jackets have compiled 37 victories, highlighted by a 17-9 record during the Covid-impacted 2020-21 campaign. The Jackets finished third in Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season competition (after being picked to finish ninth in the league’s preseason poll), advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament, earned their first NCAA Tournament berth in seven years and advanced to the Tournament’s Sweet 16 for only the second time in program history. She coached the first ACC Defensive Player of the Year (co-DPOTY Lorela Cubaj) and the first ACC Most Improved Player (Lotta Maj-Lahtinen) in Tech women’s basketball history and was herself named the 2020-21 ACC Coach of the Year. With the honor, she has now been named coach of the year in three different Power Five conferences, including the Big Ten (Purdue – 1997) and Southeastern Conference (Auburn – 2009).
Fortner’s impressive resume also includes stints as head coach and general manager of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever (2000-03) and head coach of the 2000 U.S. national team that won the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics. Recently, she selected to represent the the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association in a listening session hosted by the White House Gender Policy Council.
“Thank you to (Georgia Tech) President (Ángel Cabrera), Todd Stansbury and (GT senior woman administrator) Joeleen Akin for the belief and support for our women’s basketball program,” Fortner said. “Our expectations are to be a premier women’s basketball institution with goals of being an annual Top 25 team vying for an ACC title and competing for a national championship. This staff hit the ground sprinting in April of 2019 and we haven’t slowed up and don’t intend to. With the support of the administration at Georgia Tech, we have the means to compete at the highest level year in and year out, and that’s exactly what we work for everyday!”
With 10 of 11 letterwinners returning, including all five starters, Tech opens the 2021-22 campaign on Nov. 9 at Central Michigan.
Season tickets — which include a highly anticipated home matchup versus UConn on Dec. 9 — are on sale now, beginning at just $65. For more information and to purchase season tickets, visit ramblinwreck.com/tickets.
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.