The 2018-19 season marks the 38th time a DII women’s basketball national champion will be crowned. Cal Poly Pomona won the very first national championship in 1982, defeating Tuskegee 93-74 and would go on to become one of the programs with the most titles in the history of the sport. 

The past two national champions — Central Missouri in 2018 and Ashland in 2017 — both wrapped up their second national championship, joining the exclusive club of multiple title winners. Let’s take a look at the DII women’s basketball programs with the most titles. 

MORE: Track the 2018-19 DII women’s basketball undefeated teams

Cal Poly Pomona, 5 (1982, 1985-86, 2001-02)

NCAA Photos

The Broncos set the bar for DII women’s basketball. They won the first-ever championship game and two short years later, the Broncos were the first program to go back-to-back. Cal Poly Pomona defined powerhouse, appearing in six of the first eight national championship games, winning three and losing three. The Broncos left their mark more recently as well becoming the first team to win in the new millennium, winning consecutive titles in 2001 and 2002. 

North Dakota State 5, (1991, 1993-96)

The Bison began a 1990s run of dominance by the state of North Dakota in DII women’s basketball, one in which a North Dakota program won eight of the ten titles. North Dakota State appeared in six straight national championship games, winning in 1991, losing in 1992, and then winning the next four in a row, a feat that has yet to be matched. Legendary coach Amy Ruley won all five, the only DII women’s basketball coach to do so. There were plenty of Bison faithful on hand to watch the run. North Dakota State led DII women’s basketball in attendance from 1992 to 2000.

North Dakota, 3 (1997-99)

The North Dakota dominance of the 90s that was started by the Bison was concluded by the Fighting Hawks who won the last three championships to close out the decade. North Dakota was utterly dominant as Gene Roebuck’s squads won all three titles without a doubt, with 16 points the narrowest margin of victory. North Dakota returned a final time to the title game in 2001 but lost to Cal Poly Pomona.

Delta State, 3 (1989-90, 1992)

Delta State Athletics
Delta State has won three DII women's basketball titles.

The Lady Statesmen were on the verge of a dynasty themselves until the North Dakota teams came to power. That said, Delta State appeared in four championships in a five-year span, winning consecutive titles in ’89 and ’90 behind 30-plus win seasons. An interesting fun fact about Delta State: all three teams they defeated in the title game have won at least one national championship. It certainly earned those trophies.

Two-title programs

Four programs have two national championship trophy’s sitting on display back on campus. Central Missouri waited a long time in between titles, the longest span of any tenure to be precise, first winning in 1984 — the same season the men’s program won its first title — before claiming the 2018 championship. Northern Kentucky had an eight-year gap in between championships, winning first in 2000 before a 2008 championship run. Nancy Winstel was head coach on both occasions. California (Pa) has won two titles in the 2000s, first in 2004 and then again in 2014. Lastly, Ashland won its second title in 2017, a 37-win run that was the beginning of its legendary 73-game winning streak. 

Here’s the complete history of the DII women’s basketball championship game. 

YEAR CHAMPION (RECORD) COACH SCORE RUNNER-UP SITE
2018 Central Missouri (30-3) Dave Slifer 66-52 Ashland Sioux Falls, S.D.
2017 Ashland (37-0) Robyn Fralick 93-77 Virginia Union Columbus, Ohio
2016 Lubbock Christian (35-0) Steve Gomez 78-73 Alaska-Anch. Indianapolis
2015 California (Pa.) (32-4) Jess Strom 86-69 Cal Baptist Sioux Falls, S.D.
2014 Bentley (35-0) Barbara Stevens 73-65 West Texas A&M Erie, Pa.
2013 Ashland (38-1) Sue Ramsey 71-56 Dowling San Antonio
2012 Shaw (29-6) Jacques Curtis 88-82 Ashland San Antonio
2011 Clayton State (35-1) Dennis Cox 69-50 Michigan Tech St. Joseph, Mo.
2010 Emporia State (30-5) Brandon Schneider 65-53 Fort Lewis St. Joseph, Mo.
2009 Minnesota State-Mankato (32-2) Pam Gohl 103-94 Franklin Pierce San Antonio
2008 Northern Kentucky (28-8) Nancy Winstel 63-58 South Dakota Kearney, Neb.
2007 Southern Connecticut State (34-2) Joe Frager 61-45 Florida Gulf Coast Kearney, Neb.
2006 Grand Valley State (33-3) Dawn Plitzuweit 58-52 American International Hot Springs, Ark.
2005 Washburn (35-2) Ron McHenry 70-53 Seattle Pacific Hot Springs, Ark.
2004 California (PA) (35-1) Darcie Vincent 75-72 Drury St. Joseph, Mo.
2003 South Dakota State (32-3) Aaron Johnston 65-50 Northern Kentucky St. Joseph, Mo.
2002 Cal Poly Pomona (28-4) Paul Thomas 74-62 Southeastern Oklahoma Rochester, Minn.
2001 Cal Poly Pomona (27-3) Paul Thomas 87-80 (ot) North Dakota Rochester, Minn.
2000 Northern Kentucky (32-2) Nancy Winstel 71-62 (ot) North Dakota State Pine Bluff, Ark.
1999 North Dakota (31-1) Gene Roebuck 80-63 Arkansas Tech Pine Bluff, Ark.
1998 North Dakota (31-1) Gene Roebuck 92-76 Emporia State Pine Bluff, Ark.
1997 North Dakota (28-4) Gene Roebuck 94-78 Southern Indiana Grand Forks, N.D.
1996 North Dakota State (30-2) Amy Ruley 104-78 Shippensburg Fargo, N.D.
1995 North Dakota State (32-0) Amy Ruley 98-85 Portland State Fargo, N.D.
1994 North Dakota State (27-5) Amy Ruley 89-56 Cal State San B’dino Fargo, N.D.
1993 North Dakota State (30-2) Amy Ruley 95-63 Delta State Waltham, Mass.
1992 Delta State (30-4) Lloyd Clark 65-63 North Dakota State Fargo, N.D.
1991 North Dakota State (31-2) Amy Ruley 81-74 Southeast Missouri State Cape Girardeau, Mo.
1990 Delta State (32-1) Lloyd Clark 77-43 Bentley Pomona, Calif.
1989 Delta State (30-4) Lloyd Clark 88-58 Cal Poly Pomona Cleveland, Miss.
1988 Hampton (33-1) James Sweat 65-48 West Texas A&M Fargo, N.D.
1987 New Haven (29-2) Jan Rossman 77-75 Cal Poly Pomona Springfield, Mass.
1986 Cal Poly Pomona (30-3) Darlene May 70-63 North Dakota State Springfield, Mass.
1985 Cal Poly Pomona (26-7) Darlene May 80-69 Central Missouri Springfield, Mass.
1984 Central Missouri (27-5) Jorja Hoehn 80-73 Virginia Union Springfield, Mass.
1983 Virginia Union (27-2) Louis Hearn 73-60 Cal Poly Pomona Springfield, Mass.
1982 Cal Poly Pomona (29-7) Darlene May 93-74 Tuskegee Springfield, Mass.

MORE: Rankings | DII women’s basketball news

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