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Coach Bio

Linda Hargrove
College - Southwestern College (KS) '75
As the first head coach in Portland Fire franchise history, Hargrove has a wealth of knowledge and experience from her years in establishing women's athletic programs on the both the collegiate and professional levels. From the beginning, even before the Fire's inaugural season in 2000, Hargrove laid the groundwork that resulted in the intense, emotional, exciting, and determined team that takes the floor every night. Now known league-wide as the trademark of this Fire team, she has created a system under which players give everything they have and know that Hargrove and her staff are doing the same.

Named Head Coach on August 10, 1999, Hargrove had most recently worked as the head coach and director of player personnel for the Colorado Xplosion of the American Basketball League. When the ABL folded in 1998, she worked as a consultant to the Orlando Miracle.

Prior to joining the professional ranks, Hargrove compiled a 429-248 record over 26 seasons as head coach for the Wichita State University Shockers, and Cowley County Community College Tigers.

At Wichita State in 1989, Hargrove led the Shockers to the school's first Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) championship game in 1997 with a school record 17 wins. She was the MVC's Coach-of-the-Year in 1993 when she led Wichita State to its first winning season in 10 years and third in 19 years. Hargrove led the Shockers to six straight MVC post-season tournaments, a feat no other coach has ever accomplished at Wichita State. During her 17-year tenure at Cowley County, Hargrove compiled a 316-112 record (.738), establishing herself as one of the premier coaches and administrators in women's basketball. She was named Converse NJCAA Coach of the Year in 1987 after the Tigers ended the year with a best-ever record of 28-4. She also earned the Women's Sports Foundation Coaches Award in 1988 and was named the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1989. Cowley produced four All-Americans and three Academic All-Americans under Hargrove and she guided the Tigers to 10 league championships in 11 years.

Her success attracted attention at the national level, and in 1988 she was selected to serve as administrative assistant for the U.S. Junior National basketball team. During her stay with the Shockers, she continued to gain international experience, as she was selected to be an assistant coach for the 1990 U.S. Senior National women's team. In 1991, Hargrove served as an assistant coach under Theresa Grentz for the 1992 U.S. Olympic team, which won the bronze medal in Barcelona.

After so much success in the collegiate ranks and breaking into the coaching ranks at the international level, many would have jumped at an opportunity to coach at the professional level. The inception of the ABL in 1997 provided such an opportunity for Hargrove when the Long Beach Stingrays offered her their head-coaching position. She went to Long Beach as a consultant and even drafted the team that would go on to the ABL Championship, but she turned down the job shortly after the draft and returned to Wichita, the Shockers, and her family.

One year later, the ABL called again. This time it was the Colorado Xplosion and she couldn't say no. She left for Colorado, but only a few days after arriving in Denver, she was named as an assistant to USA national team coach Nell Fortner. Just weeks later, she was off to Australia for a five-game tour against the Australian National team. The lift her career was given with a professional coaching position and an elite international post was just as quickly turned around when the ABL folded in December of 1998, 13 games into her season.

When the WNBA expanded in the summer of 1999, she was ready to jump back in to the pro ranks. With the support of the Trail Blazers organization and a state-of-the-art facility in the Rose Garden as a home, Hargrove knew this would be the perfect place to start again.

An active participant in numerous professional organizations, she has served on the board of directors for the Women's Basketball Coaches Assoc. as well as the USA Basketball Sr. National Team Committee.

Hargrove graduated magna cum laude in 1975 from Southwestern College (KS) and earned a master's degree in education at Wichita State in 1985. She was inducted into the Southwestern College Athletic Hall of Fame in November, 1992 and the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2000.

Hargrove and her husband of 30 years, Ed, have a son, Brian, a daughter, Tara, and are the proud grandparents of Tara's two children, Jacob and Brynn.

 2000 Portland 10 22 .313 0 0 .000
 2001 Portland 11 21 .344 0 0 .000
 2002 Portland 16 16 .500 0 0 .000
 TOTALS 37 59 .385 0 0 .000

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