NCAA women’s basketball crowned a new champion over the weekend when South Carolina defeated Mississippi State to claim its first national championship. Both combatants’ fan bases were in full force in Dallas to support two teams whose coaches took their programs from the ground floor to the pinnacle of the game. Continue reading “Fahey brings impressive resume to Illini basketball”
Theresa Grentz has done it all in women’s basketball. She has won national championships as a player (three in fact at Immaculata — Watch 1973 title game) and as a coach (at Rutgers). She has guided the Olympic Team (in 1992) and served as president of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. She has been inducted into multiple Halls of Fame, ranks 29th– all-time in career victories (with 671) and is the winningest head coach at both Rutgers (434) and Illinois (210), building up programs at both places.
Continue reading “Theresa Grentz returns to sidelines for Lafayette”
This week Matt Bollant finally gets to turn the page. A report released Monday from Pugh, Jones and Johnson confirmed what those close to the program knew all along — that allegations of racial discrimination were completely unfounded.
Continue reading “Bollant, Illini Women’s Basketball Finally Get to Turn the Page”
It’s often referred to as “Catching Lightning in a Bottle.” A program gets a new coach who has a ton of promise, perhaps yields a big recruiting class at the onset, but finds long-term it can’t keep up with the giants of the sport. What starts out as a can’t-miss upward trend slowly (or sometimes quickly) fizzles, forcing the program to essentially start over.
But for every 20 or 30 of those that fall as fast as they climb trying to break through into that elite group, there are those that have become what I like to call paradigm shifters, ones that provide a don’t-look-back change on the landscape.
That’s what Dawn Staley has done at South Carolina and that’s what I see in Illinois with coach Matt Bollant. The 43-year old is building the foundation of a program that won’t teeter when put to the test from the current elite or the future up-and-comers.
Continue reading “Matt Bollant Laying Proper Foundation for Illinois”