Stanford's Fangio, Ratcliffe earn top coaching honors


Vic Fangio, in his first season at Stanford, was named's Defensive Coordinator of the Year it was announced Monday.

The Stanford defense has had a remarkable turnaround in helping the 11-1 Cardinal to the January 3 Discover Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech.

"He has an impressive knowledge of the game and he's able to teach that," Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh said. "He's organized and it's a belief our players have bought into. He is one of the top coaches out there in all of football. I'm learning a lot of football from him."

Fangio, along with fellow defensive coaches Randy Hart and Derek Mason have coached the Cardinal defenders to three shutouts this season, the most since 1969, while allowing 17.8 points per game, 11th best in the nation and tops in the Pac-10.

Overall, the defense allowed 325 yards per game, 24th in the nation. Against Washington, the Cardinal allowed just 107 yards in Seattle, the second-fewest in school-history.

According to Footballscoop, Stanford's defense allowed just 23 plays over 30 yards, which ranked 11th nationally.

Women's soccer

Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe was named NSCAA Pacific Region Coach of the Year award for the third consecutive year, and five Stanford players earned all-region honors.

Ratcliffe led Stanford to a 23-1-2 record and its second consecutive Pac-10 title. The Cardinal finished the regular season ranked No. 1 and with an undefeated record, and reached its third consecutive NCAA College Cup and second consecutive title match.

Sophomore Mariah Nogueira, junior Teresa Noyola, senior Christen Press and sophomore Courtney Verloo were named first team All-Region and junior Lindsay Taylor was named to the second team.

Press earned a spot on the team for the third time, while Nogueira, Noyola, and Taylor earned their second mention. Verloo earned her first selection.

Press was also named a finalist for the Honda Sports Award for Soccer, one of the sport's most prestigious honors.

Other nominees are Notre Dame's Melissa Henderson, California's Alex Morgan, and Portland's Sophie Schmidt.

The winner will be announced Dec. 17, and will be soccer's nominee for the nation's outstanding Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year who will receive the Honda-Broderick Cup.

Press has won several awards this season after leading the Cardinal into the NCAA championship final. She is the Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year for soccer, and has earned first-team All-America honors and first-team All-Academic honors.

She also is one of three finalists -- along with Henderson and Morgan -- for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, signifying college soccer's best player.

Press had an outstanding season for the 23-1-2 Cardinal. She led the nation in goals (26) and points (60), and broke every Stanford career scoring record.

Women's gymnastics

The Stanford women's gymnastics team has been selected No. 6 in the country, according to a national coaches' poll.

Stanford is among six schools to receive first-place votes, with defending champion UCLA ranked No. 1 with 32 of the 42 possible top votes. However, the poll was taken before UCLA junior Vanessa Zamarripa, the reigning Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year and the NCAA vault champion, suffered a season-ending injury during practice last week.

Among the top six ranked teams, Stanford is one of four to have reached the Super Six at least three times since 2007. The Cardinal loses 2009 national uneven bars champion Carly Janiga, as well as first-team All-American Blair Ryland, but returns with a solid recruiting class, as well as a strong senior class of Shelley Alexander, Danielle Ikoma, and Allyse Ishino.

Stanford opens its season Jan. 9 at the Pac-10 Showcase in Los Angeles, and opens its home season Jan. 23 against UCLA at Burnham Pavilion.

Men's swimming

Five current or graduated Stanford swimmers will take part in the five-day FINA World Championships that begin Wednesday in Dubai.

Grads Markus Rogan, Paul Kornfeld, Jason Dunford and David Dunford will compete along with junior Bobby Bollier.

Two-time Olympic silver medalist, Rogan has the best chance to medal among Cardinal competitors. Rogan ranks second to American Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley, ninth in the 200 back and 13th in the 200 free.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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