He even entertained some non-coaching offers in the form of lucrative business ventures. “He's having fun with it, you can just tell, he's smiling, he just loves every minute of this team, and I think we're all enjoying this ride together,” Carleton told the Tribune. © Gannett Co., Inc. 2020. “Duplicating the wins and losses probably won't happen, but duplicating the connections and duplicating and replicating how they treat each other, their affinity for each other, the we-over-me mentality, there's no question,” Fennelly told the Tribune, of next year. Jackson, who looked up to Burkhall, listened closely. Iowa State women's basketball head coach Bill Fennelly is one of the 100 people on the Silver Waves Media 100 influential people in women's basketball list. The best compliment Fennelly can receive about this team is one he's heard repeatedly: “They remind me of our team.”. The official Women's Basketball page for the University of Northern Iowa Panthers Not for another job, and not for retirement, yet. But, citing the ISU administration and coaches, the fans and community in Iowa, Fennelly was never too serious other job opportunities. Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. As ISU trailed by two in the third quarter, senior Meredith Burkhall took a charge that sent ISU fans and the bench to their feet. But the final selling point for Jackson came this past Saturday, when she and her parents sat down at a local restaurant in Ames and chatted with Meredith Burkhall, a former star at Roosevelt who had gone on to play basketball at Iowa State. But most of all, he was excited for the near future: he was still coaching. Des Moines Roosevelt sophomore Arianna Jackson had already been contemplating committing to the Iowa State women’s basketball team. OKLAHOMA CITY — Playing in the Big 12 tournament final on Monday night, No. I like where the program is. “If those people look at this team and what I'm doing as, 'That's what my school should look like,' — You can put that on my tombstone. During its 38 seasons, the Cyclone women have played over 1000 games and made ten appearances at the NCAA Tournament, including two Elite Eight appearances. Burkhall would provide positive leadership. Subscribe today at DesMoinesRegister.com/Deal.. Jackson liked being close to home, loved the idea of going to the same school as her parents and brother and was intrigued by the family atmosphere Cyclones coach Bill Fennelly had created in his program. Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. Players from that era have reached out to Fennelly to let him know the current team, with its chemistry and passion, is reminiscent of theirs. Not for me, personally, like, 'I gotta get the hell out of here,' it was just like maybe — it's like letting your kids go,” he said. “One thing that I think I really admire is their camaraderie and everything like that,” she told the Tribune. The women's team has been led by six head coaches since it was organized in 1974. Sophomore wing Maddie Wise took an ill-advised fadeaway jumper late in the first period, and coach Bill Fennelly turned her direction, red-faced: “Maddie, what are you doing?!”. I'm 61 now, but seven, eight years ago, you're 52, 53, and I'm like, 'I can do one more rebuild,'” Fennelly told the Tribune. Fennelly's teams at the turn of the century were his most successful, reaching three straight Sweet 16s from 1999-2001. “There was ideas in your head, like maybe they need something different, I need something different. Sitting at the dais after the game, Fennelly was not disappointed at all with the effort from his team. On Monday in Oklahoma City, Fennelly's voice rang out loud and clear. It was that type of success that led to a lot of attention from college coaches. But it wasn't the lack of on-court success that irked him most; Fennelly was primarily frustrated with the culture and mentality of recent teams, so he mulled retirement with his wife, Deb. He still loved living in Ames and coaching the Cyclones, but he thought both parties may benefit from a split. All rights reserved. A new voice, a new whatever.”. Through it all, Fennelly coaxed his team: throwing his arms in the air to will his players not to foul, mixing in alternate defenses to confuse the Lady Bears, shouting out play calls to Carleton and Middleton. The official 2020-21 Women's Basketball Roster for the University of Northern Iowa Panthers “And it was frustrating, and you always get to a point where sometimes it's time. This past offseason wasn't the first time Fennelly, now in his 24th year with the program, mulled leaving his post with ISU. “He was very happy about it.”. “The winning helps, sure, but that's not what this was about,” Fennelly told the Ames Tribune of why this season feels different. 1 Baylor. A blowout was ostensibly imminent. Reach him at tbirch@dmreg.com or 515-284-8468. Camber, a fan favorite, started most games last year, but has been relegated to a different role this season: despite playing only a few minutes per game, she provides ceaseless enthusiasm for the team. If you love something, let it go. Of course, having one of the best players in ISU history in Carleton, a playmaking point guard in Middleton and an inspiring leader in Burkhall has helped with that. After he gave a cheery post-game television interview, he turned to the ISU fans in attendance at the Chesapeake Energy Arena and gave another animated fist pump. But Iowa State always seemed to have the advantage on Jackson, who grew up going to Cyclone football and women’s basketball games. All rights reserved. Izzi Zingaro had the perfect Christmas gift for Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly. “I'm glad that this year, we were able to kind of re-instill that love and passion he has for the game,” Carleton told the Tribune, “because you could tell last year, he was getting frustrated and obviously, it was a frustrating year, not winning, for one, and then just the culture, it wasn't the best it could've been.”. With their appearance in the Big 12 title game, the Cyclones have all but wrapped up a No. In 1973, Coach Gloria Crosby led the Iowa State Women's Basketball team through their first season as a Division I program. “I was not enforcing the things that made us special in the past, and made our university special,” Fennelly told the Ames Tribune in Oklahoma City this weekend. Seeing the success that Burkhall, another Roughrider, had with Iowa State also helped. Fennelly knows next year will be a bit of a rebuild, but he's confident — with Camber as a willing senior leader — the team will be in good hands. 13 Iowa State dug itself an 18-6 first-quarter hole against No. Zingaro brought plenty of joy to Fennelly, FaceTiming the coach on Christmas Eve to let him know she’d be coming to Ames. And to top it off, Jackson’s brother Kendell already goes there and is a redshirt sophomore linebacker for the football team. “There was a little bit of a lull a few years ago, and now I think with the team he's got right now, it's very inspirational to see them come back into kind of their own,” Kline told the Ames Tribune.