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Sandy Botham is coming home.

Botham announced on Friday that she has been hired as the Director of  Athletics and Operations at Madison West High School, where she was a standout athlete for the Regents.

Botham helped West win the WIAA Division 1 state girls basketball, title in 1982.

“I am so excited about this opportunity and to have the ability to serve the high school that helped shape me into the person I am today,” Botham said on a message posted on her Facebook page and on LinkedIn. “I am coming home. It is such a blessing.”

Botham coached women’s basketball at UW-Milwaukee for 16 years and also worked for the school’s Alumni Association. She will begin her official duties at West on July 6.

While coaching the Panthers, Botham became the winningest coach in Horizon League history. She inherited a program that had gone 4-22 in the season before her arrival in 1996-97 and led the Panthers to a 16-12 record and earned her first of three Coach of the Year awards.

She also won the award for the 2000-01 and 2005-06 seasons, during which the Panthers swept the league's regular season and tournament championships and earned berths to the NCAA tournament.

Under Botham, UWM compiled a 245-225 overall record and 156-102 record in Horizon League games. That represented the most victories for a Panthers coach since the move to Division I, and the second-most in the program's 41-year history.

Botham was a three-sport athlete at Madison West, also excelling in volleyball and softball. She competed in basketball at Notre Dame, where she was a four-time all-conference selection from 1984-88. She ranks among the Irish's top-10 in career scoring (1,460), rebounding (773) and field-goal percentage (.588).

After graduation, Botham spent one year as an assistant at Marquette before returning to Notre Dame to serve five years as an assistant to coach Muffet McGraw. She directed Beloit College to the NCAA Division III tournament in her only season at the school before taking over at UWM.

Botham is a member of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (as a player) and the Madison Sports Hall of Fame (honoring her achievements as both an athlete and coach).


High School sportswriter and columnist for Wisconsin State Journal and