SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Roberto Medrano, Dmitriy Stepanov, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Sean Houghton

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USA TODAY High School Sports Launches Search For America's Best Girls High School Basketball Coach

Fan Voting for Seventh Installment of "Best Of" Series Begins February 17 at usatodayhss.com

MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- USA TODAY High School Sports - the nation's top resource for high school sports news and information - today began the search for America's best high school girls basketball coach, representing USA TODAY HSS' seventh installment of its wildly popular "Best of" contest series.

Fans will vote on the winner from a pool of 255 active girls basketball coaches from across the country - five in each state and Washington, D.C. - selected after more than a month of conversations with local media and other state/school officials with expertise.

Voting on the best girls basketball coach contest began at noon (ET), Monday, and the state round will end Feb. 24. The state winners and two wild cards advance to a regional round Feb. 25-March 4. Regional winners and two wild cards move onto the national round March 5-12.

The search for the best girls basketball coach launches on the heels of the best high school boys basketball coach contest, which crowned Shane Cowherd of Edmond Memorial (Edmond, Okla.) as winner on Feb. 7 after a month of voting by fans.  The "Best Of" series overall has drawn more than 100 million votes and attracted fans from all sections of the country - from big cities to tiny towns and everywhere in between - with 1,700 different schools being involved. No state has produced multiple winners in the "Best Of" series, as past champions have hailed from Missouri, Vermont, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

The "Best Of" contest series launched in November 2012 with the first best high school football rivalry competition, won by Brookfield vs. Marceline in Missouri. In January 2013, Hartford (Vt.) was crowned as the People's Champion high school football team. The most-voted on contest - top high school mascot last spring - was won by the Centralia (Ill.) Orphans after 80 million total votes were cast during the competition.

Last fall, the best high school football coach competition crowned Philip Haywood of Belfry (Ky.) as its champion, while the second annual best high school football rivalry went to the North Carolina small-town matchup of Bunn vs. Louisburg.

Visit USA TODAY High School Sports to check out the list of coaches and vote.

About USA TODAY Sports Media Group:
The USA TODAY Sports Media Group encompasses all sports initiatives across USA TODAY Sports and Gannett's more than 100 well-known local media brands. It also includes the sports photography wire service USA TODAY Sports Images, leading high school sports destination  USA TODAY High School SportsFor The Win, the first mainstream sports media property focused exclusively on "social news," and designed specifically to resonate on social networks and non-traditional media channels and platforms; Sports On Earth, a  joint venture with MLB Advanced Media dedicated to great sports writing in all its forms; and the hundreds of sites within USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties, such as HoopsHype.com and mixed martial arts site MMAjunkie.com, among others. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121205/DC24496LOGO)

SOURCE USA TODAY Sports Media Group

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