After spending much of the last decade as a member of the Gonzaga University women’s basketball staff, including seven as an assistant, Lisa Fortier was named the program’s head coach on April 14, 2014.
In her first season as a head coach in 2014-15, Fortier oversaw one of the nation’s more efficient offenses. The Bulldogs outscored opponents by 10.0 points per game. As a team, the Zags broke seven team records, including a program-best 77.4 percent from the free-throw line this season, which was also fourth-best in the country. GU made 534 free-throws and 211 three-pointers this season, both new program records.
Fortier was the 2015 recipient of the WBCA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year Award. Fortier had the best first season any head coach in Gonzaga women’s basketball history has ever had. Her 26 wins and 76.5 winning percentage were both top of the list among first year finishes for any GU women’s basketball coach.
Fortier led Gonzaga to a 26-8 finish and its seventh-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. GU made its fourth appearance in the Sweet 16, after a pair of upsets in the first and second rounds as an 11-seed.
Fortier was named the West Coast Conference co-Coach of the Year after guiding the Zags to their 11th straight conference regular season title. During the season, Gonzaga won 16 straight games, the fifth-longest win streak in program history. GU enjoyed its seventh-straight 25-win season.
Gonzaga advanced to the postseason for the 10th consecutive year during Fortier's second season. The Zags ended their schedule in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament. Jill Barta became the first freshman to be named First Team All-West Coast Conference in eight years.
Fortier first came to Gonzaga in 2004, spending two years as the coordinator of basketball operations. She then spent one season as an assistant coach at the University of Northern Colorado before returning to GU in 2007.
In her seven years as a Gonzaga assistant, the Bulldogs have produced an overall record of 196-43. The Zags have dominated the West Coast Conference during that span, compiling a 98-8 mark to go with seven consecutive WCC regular-season championships and five WCC Tournament titles.
After a second-round appearance in the WNIT in Fortier’s first season as an assistant, the Zags have qualified for the NCAA Tournament each of the last seven years, which included a stretch of three straight Sweet Sixteens from 2010-12. The highlight was an Elite Eight run in 2011, in which the Bulldogs upset three higher-seeded teams.
In addition to serving as Gonzaga’s recruiting coordinator, Fortier has been responsible for coordinating GU’s defense. She also spent time coaching Gonzaga’s guards. She has mentored two WNBA draftees in Courtney Vandersloot and Katelan Redmon as well as Haiden Palmer, a 2014 draft hopeful. She also coached Taelor Karr, the 2012-13 WCC Player of the Year.
A native of Grass Valley, Calif., Fortier played collegiate basketball at Butte (Calif.) Community College before transferring to Cal State Monterey Bay. At CSUMB, she earned Honorable Mention All Cal-Pac Conference honors as a junior and was an NAIA Academic All-American in 2003. She also earned the 2004 CSUMB Female Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Fortier graduated Magna Cum Laude from CSUMB in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in human communications. Fortier earned her master’s degree in sport and athletic administration from Gonzaga in 2006.
Fortier, who spent two years as the Assistant Coaches Representative on the WBCA Board of Directors, is married to Craig Fortier, who joined the Gonzaga staff as an assistant coach in May of 2014, after previously serving as the associate head men’s basketball coach at Eastern Washington University. They welcomed their first son, Marcus, in 2010. Their second son, Calvin, was born in 2012, and they welcomed a daughter, Quincy, in July, 2014.