Courtesy of Air Force Athletics – 

Air Force head women’s basketball coach Chris Gobrecht announced her retirement today after nine years leading the Falcons and 44 as a Division I head coach.

Coach Gobrecht Statement:
“After 44 years of putting all I had to give into the greatest job in the world, I have made the decision to retire from coaching. I have known for a while that this day would come, but I didn’t think it would be this hard.  The love I hold for this Air Force team, the appreciation I have for the incredible support and encouragement given to me by this administration and my fellow coaches, and the respect I have for the United States Air Force Academy, make this decision more difficult than I ever dreamed it would be.”
“It has been the greatest of coaching privileges to serve as the head women’s basketball coach of the Falcons for the past nine years.  My heart is struggling to leave now with such a wonderful, talented, enjoyable team returning, but it is just time.  Throughout my career, I have worked with a life philosophy of being sure to leave things a little better than when I got there. The accomplishment of that goal throughout my career is what allows me to leave this great profession now with a sense of peace.” 
“I want to thank Lt, General Clark, Mr. Nathan Pine, Ms. Jen Block, Ms. Nancy Hixson, Mr. Shondell Reed, and my indispensable coaching staff, for caring so much about, and giving, to our cadet-athletes, and our efforts, every day. ” 
“May God Bless and protect all our men and women in uniform.”

“While we will miss her and her incredible leadership and presence on our staff, we are so happy for Coach Gobrecht as she retires and transitions into this new phase of her life,” Director of Athletics Nathan Pine said. “The Academy is a better place for all that she has poured into it and our cadets. Coach G has positively impacted countless lives throughout her career and especially here at Air Force and we are so appreciative of that. She has our women’s basketball program in a very good place as we begin a national search for our next head coach.”

Gobrecht’s resume as a Division I head coach and winning standard has left a lasting imprint on the Falcon program, while pulling in its wake the weight of championing a growing sport across decades. Gobrecht accumulated a career record of 626-662 and an 84-189 record while at Air Force.

Gobrecht, a household name in Division I basketball with family ties to the Academy, arrived at USAFA as the program’s eighth head coach in 2015. Levied with the responsibility of not only elevating Air Force basketball into a perennial Mountain West contender, Gobrecht took on the added duty of applying her knowledge and love for the game as a means for promoting the greater mission of USAFA and the United States Air Force in shaping future leaders within our armed forces.

Keen to the challenge, Gobrecht’s nine-year effort has raised the Falcon benchmark of success to a level which has not been experienced since Air Force joined the ranks of Division I in 1996. Becoming the Falcons’ Division I winningest head coach in the 2022-23 season, Gobrecht led Air Force along its winningest stretch in the program’s Division I era, earning 84 career wins. Finishing 2019-20 season with Air Force’s first 10-win season since 2008 in hand, Gobrecht’s Falcons never looked back, logging 65 wins from 2019-2024.

In 2023-24, Gobrecht’s cast of Falcons went 15-17 and 10-6 in Clune Arena, marking the second season in three years of 10 or more home victories. The 30 wins at the Academy in the past three seasons of Falcon basketball accounts for more home wins than the previous 10 seasons combined. Air Force’s season successes were underscored by the sudden prominence of All-Mountain West selection Milahnie Perry, who, with 535 points scored in 2023-24, became the single-season points leader in the program’s Division I history. A sure sign of what the future holds, freshmen pair Keelie O’Hollaren and All-Freshman honoree Jayda McNabb both left their marks in the freshman records, as O’Hollaren earned the most three-pointers for a freshman in Air Force history (60), and McNabb the most rebounds for a newcomer in the program’s Division I history (201). The Falcons closed the year leading the Mountain West in steals per game (10.8, 19 nationally), turnover margin (4.41, 25th nationally), turnovers forced per game (19.19) and led the league in three-point production through conference play (.350).

Gobrecht and the Falcons closed their 2022-23 run at 13-18 with an 8-10 mark against the Mountain West and a 9-5 home record. A 5-1 beginning to the season in Clune Arena represents a start to the Falcons’ home schedule which had not been achieved since the program’s final year as a member of Division II in 1995-96, in which Air Force started 7-1 at home. Gobrecht’s 58th career Air Force victory – a 74-66 home win over Adams State on Nov. 16 – reset the program’s Division I record for career wins by a head coach. Gobrecht now boasts three all-time win records, having already earned the distinction on two previous stints at Yale (117) and Washington (243).

The 2021-22 season represented the Falcons’ most successful Division I season to date and winningest finish in over two decades, as Air Force’s 19 overall wins and 11 conference victories were both program-bests. Gobrecht, the eventual Mountain West Coach of the Year, led the Falcons to four season-sweeps of conference opponents, also a program first. Cierra Winters was named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, while Riley Snyder was named All-Mountain West enroute to becoming Air Force’s all-time leading Division I scorer. The Falcons clinched their first-ever bye in the Mountain West Tournament where Air Force defeated Nevada to advance to the semifinal round for the first time in program history. The Falcons were ultimately awarded an at-large berth in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT), and subsequent first-ever postseason tournament win in the opening round, defeating San Francisco, 64-60.

Through her first two seasons, Gobrecht wasted no time in setting the foundation for the program’s eventual upward trajectory. In 2016-17, the change in regime immediately bore fruit, with Air Force doubling its win total from the previous season. Mariah Forde led the Mountain West freshmen class in scoring, averaging 11.0 points per game. In the 2017-18 season, Air Force’s signature victory took place in the regular season home finale, posting a 57-47 win over then-first place Wyoming, marking a pivotal moment in the growth in the Falcon program.

In addition to winning four of its last six games of the season, Air Force smashed five team records in 2017-18 – an effort highlighted by a rigid Falcon defense that allowed just 62.3 ppg in the regular season and 59.7 against Mountain West opponents, setting new benchmarks in both categories. The Falcons held opponents below 60 points 11 times on the season – a testament to the rapid progression of the defense under Gobrecht and her staff. 2017-18 also yielded six new individual school records including the program’s first-ever Mountain West Freshman of the Year in Kaelin Immel, who set four program-records highlighted by the most-ever points scored by an Air Force freshman in the Division I era.

The Falcons’ positive trajectory continued its rise into uncharted levels leading into the 2018-19 season, as Air Force averaged 60.1 points per game in regular season and Mountain West play alike, on average earning 4.4 points more than the previous season’s averages and 12.7 more points per game than in her inaugural season. Gobrecht and a young roster comprised predominantly of freshmen and sophomores checked the box on numerous milestones to include the team’s first wins against both Army and Colorado State in over a decade. Under Gobrecht’s guidance, freshman standout Riley Snyder, who averaged 10 points per, was added to the Mountain West All-Freshman team, marking the third freshman to earn the honor across the previous two seasons, after earning its first-ever just the year prior.

In 2019-20, Air Force finished 10-21 (7-11 MW), marking Gobrecht’s most single-season wins since arriving at USAFA, the program’s winningest  single-season against league opponents since joining in 1999 and the Falcons’ first double-digit finish since 2008. Air Force’s seventh-place league finish tied its best-ever final standing in the Mountain West.

Under Gobrecht’s guidance, the Falcons averaged a program-best 60.7 points per game in conference play, marking the team’s best league scoring average in the program’s Mountain West tenure. Air Force also ranked as high as 11th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game and as high as 25th in the nation in steals. Kaelin Immel, was tabbed a Mountain West All-Conference selection, becoming the first Falcon to receive such an honor since 2013. Air Force’s historic season was highlighted by a victory over regular-season champion Fresno State at home. The Bulldogs, who were undefeated in the conference (15-0) at the time of the loss, had never lost a game against Air Force. Gobrecht also guided the Falcons to their first-ever win at New Mexico, snapping a 22-game losing streak to the Lobos, as well as earning the program’s first-ever win against Nevada in Reno.

The 2020-21 season was underscored by Riley Snyder’s All-MW Honorable Mention nod and Kassady Huffman’s MW All-Defensive team selection. The Falcons finished the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign with an 8-18 overall record and a 4-14 mark in the Mountain West, finishing ninth in the league. Air Force made it to the MW quarterfinals for the second-straight season, defeating San Diego State in the first round before falling to top-seeded New Mexico thereafter.

Prior to coming to Air Force, Gobrecht had taken on a 10-year project developing the Yale women’s basketball program into an Ivy League contender. Gobrecht coached Yale to 56 wins from 2012-14 which tied for the second-most in a four-year stretch and most since the class of 1980 won 57 games. Under Gobrecht’s leadership, Yale also recorded the top two marks for most Ivy League wins in a four-year span with 34 Ivy victories set by the Class of 2013 and 33 set by the Class of 2014.

During her Yale tenure, Gobrecht coached 27 players who earned Ivy League postseason awards, including two Rookies of the Year, five All-Ivy first team honorees, three All-Ivy second team honorees, six All-Ivy honorable mention players, five All-Ivy rookie team players and seven Ivy League academic team honorees. Prior to Gobrecht’s arrival, a Bulldog player had not earned All-Ivy League first team accolades since 1997-98. Gobrecht also coached two players who competed internationally.

In 2014-15, Yale posted its sixth consecutive top-four finish in the Ivy League standings with a 7-7 mark in Ivy play, while posting an overall mark of 13-15. Gobrecht became just the second coach in program history to record 100 victories at Yale with a win at Columbia on Jan. 31, 2014. She was 117-162 (.419) in her 10 seasons at the school.

The Bulldogs enjoyed their most successful season under Gobrecht’s leadership in 2011-12, finishing with a 16-12 record and an 8-6 mark in Ivy League play in a season that included Yale’s first-ever meeting with the nation’s top-ranked team (No. 1 Baylor, Nov. 22, 2011). It was their winningest season since a 16-10 finish in 1993-94 and the third-straight season with at least eight Ivy League victories. The season included several milestones, including Gobrecht’s 500th career victory which happened on Feb. 10, 2012, against Cornell.

In 2010-11, Gobrecht guided Yale to their first-ever WNIT appearance. The Bulldogs finished with a 14-15 overall record, which, until 2011-12, was Yale’s highest win total since the 2001-02 season (14-13). Gobrecht coached the Bulldogs to the biggest win in program history, a 91-85 win over then-No. 14 Florida State. It was Yale’s first win over a nationally-ranked opponent in the program’s 38-year history. Yale followed up that historic victory with a 10-4 finish in Ivy League play, which matched the most wins for Yale in League play (10-4, 1988-89). The 2010-11 Ivy League season included Yale’s first sweep of Harvard since 1993-94, which helped the Bulldogs finish in second place in the Ivy League standings for the first time since 1988-89, clinching the League’s WNIT berth.

Though the 2008-09 team was hampered by a multitude of injuries, Gobrecht led Yale to an 11-17 record and a landmark victory over North Carolina State, Yale’s first-ever win over an ACC opponent. In the same season, Gobrecht also surpassed the 450-win milestone for her Division I coaching career.

After posting a 3-24 mark in her first season with the Bulldogs, Gobrecht led the team to 12 wins in 2006-07. The nine-win improvement was one of the best in Division I that season. The 2006-07 season was highlighted by a six-game winning streak and a 15-point victory over a Marist roster that would ultimately reach the Regional Semifinals (Sweet 16) of the NCAA Tournament. Yale was the only Ivy League program that season to defeat eventual league champion Harvard.

Prior to coaching at Yale, Gobrecht was the head coach at her alma mater, Southern California, where her teams earned 93 wins in seven seasons (1997-04). She became the 33rd active coach to reach the 400-win mark during her time with the Women of Troy, reaching the milestone with a last-minute, 64-63 victory over Pepperdine on December 4, 2002.

Before returning to USC, Gobrecht took over a struggling Florida State program in 1996 for one year, in which the Seminoles closed with a 5-22 finish.

The bulk of Gobrecht’s early successes occurred in an 11-year stint at the University of Washington (1986-96), in which her teams made nine NCAA Tournament appearances. The Huskies reached the NCAA Regional Semifinals four times during her tenure, and advanced to the Regional Finals (Elite Eight) in 1990. She won at least 16 games every year with the Huskies, including eight 20-win seasons (six consecutive), and is Washington’s all-time winningest coach at 243-89. A dominant stretch by all metrics, Washington won three Pac-10 titles and finished second four times during her tenure. A two-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Gobrecht led Washington to a school-record 28 wins and a number-three national ranking in 1989-90. The Huskies were the only team to beat eventual NCAA Champion Stanford that season. In lieu of her success with the Huskies, the University of Washington announced Gobrecht as one of seven individuals to be inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in October of 2018.

Gobrecht’s successes with the Huskies created a brand name within the Washington program, turning UW women’s basketball into the most attended women’s collegiate program in a major city at the time.

Pushing the envelope at Washington, Gobrecht was named to a number of firsts for the program, becoming the first women’s basketball coach to lead the Huskies for five consecutive seasons, the first to win 100 games, and the first to reach the 300-win milestone in her career. She became the winningest coach at Washington in her fourth season by defeating Oregon, 71-59, on Jan. 19, 1989 – A record which still stands today by a total of 52 wins.

Gobrecht began her Division I coaching career with a Cal State Fullerton program in 1979-80 in need of revival. Gobrecht coached the Titans for six seasons, posting an 84-92 overall record. She led Cal State Fullerton to an 18-12 finish in her third season on the job and in 1984-85 – Gobrecht’s final season with the program – her team posted a 19-11 record and made their first-ever appearance in the WNIT.

Gobrecht’s storied and luminous coaching career began in 1978 at Santa Fe Springs (Calif.) High School, where her team went 20-4 and made the CIF AAA playoffs. The following season, Gobrecht led Pasadena City College to a 25-5 finish, a conference championship and second place in the state junior college tournament.

In addition to her prominence in collegiate leagues across the United States, Gobrecht has also made an imprint on the international scene. In the summer of 1990, Gobrecht served as assistant coach for one of the USA Basketball select teams that competed in Czechoslovakia and Italy, and in the summer of 1989, coached the silver medal-winning East Team at the U.S. Olympic Festival. Additionally, six of Gobrecht’s former players have played professionally in the WNBA and ABL.

A Toledo, Ohio, native and a graduate of Huntington Beach (Calif.) High School, Gobrecht earned a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from USC in 1977. Then known by her maiden name of Chris Geiger, Gobrecht was a three-year starter for the Women of Troy from 1974-76 while also playing two seasons of volleyball at USC. After graduation, Gobrecht spent a year volunteering in the Peace Corps, where she worked as an English teacher at St. Mary’s College in Apia, Western Samoa.

Gobrecht and late husband, Bob Gobrecht, have two children, Eric and Madeline (Mady). A USAFA graduate and former U-2 and C-5M transport pilot, Lt. Col. Eric Gobrecht is currently preparing to begin service at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. In October of 2011, Eric married Catherine Cheney, a 2010 graduate of Yale. Eric and Catherine welcomed their first son, Bennett Gobrecht, in February of 2020, and daughter Grace, who arrived in May of 2022. Mady graduated from Yale in 2011 after four standout seasons on her mother’s women’s basketball team. She married Greg Moviel, a 2007 graduate of Vanderbilt, in 2015. Grandson, Mack, born to Mady and Greg in May of 2018 was joined by brother Mark, in June of 2020. Mady is currently a registered nurse serving at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs.