The 2018-19 season marks the 38th time a DII women’s basketball national champion will be crowned. Cal Poly Pomona won the very first national championship in 1982, defeating Tuskegee 93-74 and would go on to become one of the programs with the most titles in the history of the sport.
The past two national champions — Central Missouri in 2018 and Ashland in 2017 — both wrapped up their second national championship, joining the exclusive club of multiple title winners. Let’s take a look at the DII women’s basketball programs with the most titles.
Cal Poly Pomona, 5 (1982, 1985-86, 2001-02)
The Broncos set the bar for DII women’s basketball. They won the first-ever championship game and two short years later, the Broncos were the first program to go back-to-back. Cal Poly Pomona defined powerhouse, appearing in six of the first eight national championship games, winning three and losing three. The Broncos left their mark more recently as well becoming the first team to win in the new millennium, winning consecutive titles in 2001 and 2002.
North Dakota State 5, (1991, 1993-96)
The Bison began a 1990s run of dominance by the state of North Dakota in DII women's basketball, one in which a North Dakota program won eight of the ten titles. North Dakota State appeared in six straight national championship games, winning in 1991, losing in 1992, and then winning the next four in a row, a feat that has yet to be matched. Legendary coach Amy Ruley won all five, the only DII women’s basketball coach to do so. There were plenty of Bison faithful on hand to watch the run. North Dakota State led DII women’s basketball in attendance from 1992 to 2000.
North Dakota, 3 (1997-99)
The North Dakota dominance of the 90s that was started by the Bison was concluded by the Fighting Hawks who won the last three championships to close out the decade. North Dakota was utterly dominant as Gene Roebuck’s squads won all three titles without a doubt, with 16 points the narrowest margin of victory. North Dakota returned a final time to the title game in 2001 but lost to Cal Poly Pomona.
Delta State, 3 (1989-90, 1992)
The Lady Statesmen were on the verge of a dynasty themselves until the North Dakota teams came to power. That said, Delta State appeared in four championships in a five-year span, winning consecutive titles in ’89 and ’90 behind 30-plus win seasons. An interesting fun fact about Delta State: all three teams they defeated in the title game have won at least one national championship. It certainly earned those trophies.
Four programs have two national championship trophy’s sitting on display back on campus. Central Missouri waited a long time in between titles, the longest span of any tenure to be precise, first winning in 1984 — the same season the men’s program won its first title — before claiming the 2018 championship. Northern Kentucky had an eight-year gap in between championships, winning first in 2000 before a 2008 championship run. Nancy Winstel was head coach on both occasions. California (Pa) has won two titles in the 2000s, first in 2004 and then again in 2014. Lastly, Ashland won its second title in 2017, a 37-win run that was the beginning of its legendary 73-game winning streak.
Here’s the complete history of the DII women’s basketball championship game.
|2018||Central Missouri (30-3)||Dave Slifer||66-52||Ashland||Sioux Falls, S.D.|
|2017||Ashland (37-0)||Robyn Fralick||93-77||Virginia Union||Columbus, Ohio|
|2016||Lubbock Christian (35-0)||Steve Gomez||78-73||Alaska-Anch.||Indianapolis|
|2015||California (Pa.) (32-4)||Jess Strom||86-69||Cal Baptist||Sioux Falls, S.D.|
|2014||Bentley (35-0)||Barbara Stevens||73-65||West Texas A&M||Erie, Pa.|
|2013||Ashland (38-1)||Sue Ramsey||71-56||Dowling||San Antonio|
|2012||Shaw (29-6)||Jacques Curtis||88-82||Ashland||San Antonio|
|2011||Clayton State (35-1)||Dennis Cox||69-50||Michigan Tech||St. Joseph, Mo.|
|2010||Emporia State (30-5)||Brandon Schneider||65-53||Fort Lewis||St. Joseph, Mo.|
|2009||Minnesota State-Mankato (32-2)||Pam Gohl||103-94||Franklin Pierce||San Antonio|
|2008||Northern Kentucky (28-8)||Nancy Winstel||63-58||South Dakota||Kearney, Neb.|
|2007||Southern Connecticut State (34-2)||Joe Frager||61-45||Florida Gulf Coast||Kearney, Neb.|
|2006||Grand Valley State (33-3)||Dawn Plitzuweit||58-52||American International||Hot Springs, Ark.|
|2005||Washburn (35-2)||Ron McHenry||70-53||Seattle Pacific||Hot Springs, Ark.|
|2004||California (PA) (35-1)||Darcie Vincent||75-72||Drury||St. Joseph, Mo.|
|2003||South Dakota State (32-3)||Aaron Johnston||65-50||Northern Kentucky||St. Joseph, Mo.|
|2002||Cal Poly Pomona (28-4)||Paul Thomas||74-62||Southeastern Oklahoma||Rochester, Minn.|
|2001||Cal Poly Pomona (27-3)||Paul Thomas||87-80 (ot)||North Dakota||Rochester, Minn.|
|2000||Northern Kentucky (32-2)||Nancy Winstel||71-62 (ot)||North Dakota State||Pine Bluff, Ark.|
|1999||North Dakota (31-1)||Gene Roebuck||80-63||Arkansas Tech||Pine Bluff, Ark.|
|1998||North Dakota (31-1)||Gene Roebuck||92-76||Emporia State||Pine Bluff, Ark.|
|1997||North Dakota (28-4)||Gene Roebuck||94-78||Southern Indiana||Grand Forks, N.D.|
|1996||North Dakota State (30-2)||Amy Ruley||104-78||Shippensburg||Fargo, N.D.|
|1995||North Dakota State (32-0)||Amy Ruley||98-85||Portland State||Fargo, N.D.|
|1994||North Dakota State (27-5)||Amy Ruley||89-56||Cal State San B'dino||Fargo, N.D.|
|1993||North Dakota State (30-2)||Amy Ruley||95-63||Delta State||Waltham, Mass.|
|1992||Delta State (30-4)||Lloyd Clark||65-63||North Dakota State||Fargo, N.D.|
|1991||North Dakota State (31-2)||Amy Ruley||81-74||Southeast Missouri State||Cape Girardeau, Mo.|
|1990||Delta State (32-1)||Lloyd Clark||77-43||Bentley||Pomona, Calif.|
|1989||Delta State (30-4)||Lloyd Clark||88-58||Cal Poly Pomona||Cleveland, Miss.|
|1988||Hampton (33-1)||James Sweat||65-48||West Texas A&M||Fargo, N.D.|
|1987||New Haven (29-2)||Jan Rossman||77-75||Cal Poly Pomona||Springfield, Mass.|
|1986||Cal Poly Pomona (30-3)||Darlene May||70-63||North Dakota State||Springfield, Mass.|
|1985||Cal Poly Pomona (26-7)||Darlene May||80-69||Central Missouri||Springfield, Mass.|
|1984||Central Missouri (27-5)||Jorja Hoehn||80-73||Virginia Union||Springfield, Mass.|
|1983||Virginia Union (27-2)||Louis Hearn||73-60||Cal Poly Pomona||Springfield, Mass.|
|1982||Cal Poly Pomona (29-7)||Darlene May||93-74||Tuskegee||Springfield, Mass.|