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Graves repeats vow to stay with Gonzaga women’s basketball

Kelly Graves is 228-119 in 11 years as Gonzaga women’s coach. (Associated Press)
Kelly Graves is 228-119 in 11 years as Gonzaga women’s coach. (Associated Press)

Kelly Graves made it official – again.

The Gonzaga women’s basketball coach said he was not interested in the same position at the University of Washington, although he was on the UW campus Wednesday.

“I was there, definitely meeting with them,” Graves said Thursday afternoon. “They called me Tuesday morning and said they wanted to talk to me. Since I was going to be over there recruiting, I said sure, as a courtesy.”

Graves, however, said no thanks to any offer that may be forthcoming.

“First and foremost, because I like it here,” Graves said.

The Bulldogs just finished their most successful season Monday night with a loss to second-ranked and top-seeded Stanford in the Spokane Regional final. Gonzaga (31-5) was seeded 11th, the lowest seed to reach an Elite Eight. They got there by beating sixth-seeded Iowa, third-seeded UCLA and seventh-seeded Louisville.

After the last game, Graves said he wasn’t interested in other jobs.

In 11 years at Gonzaga, Graves is 228-119. His first Bulldogs team went 0-14 in the West Coast Conference, but the Zags are riding a 30-game WCC winning streak with their second consecutive undefeated season. The Bulldogs, who have won or shared the last seven WCC titles, have been to the NCAA tournament three straight years and four of the last five. They also played in two WNIT tournaments.

Prior to coming to Gonzaga, Graves was an assistant at Portland and head coach at Saint Mary’s, where he went 66-26.

While at UW, Graves was taken on a tour of the facilities, with a stop at the Husky football pro day, where a large contingent of media was watching Jake Locker.

“It kind of got blown out of proportion,” Graves said. “I wish it wasn’t out there, because it wasn’t something I was pursuing.”

Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth has often said he was proactive when his coaches are hot commodities. That probably means there will be some kind of contract extension for Graves.

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