Grentz Introduced as Women’s Basketball Head Coach at Lafayette College

Grentz Introduced as Women’s Basketball Head Coach at Lafayette College
Former US Olympic Coach was formally introduced on Monday


EASTON, Pa.- Lafayette Director of Athletics Bruce McCutcheon introduced Theresa Grentz as the sixth head coach in the women’s basketball program history at a press conference on Monday. Grentz has accumulated 671 wins during her 33-year head coaching career that has included stops at Rutgers and Illinois.

“We are very excited and honored to have Coach Grentz lead our women’s basketball program,” McCutcheon said. “Theresa is an icon who will deliver so much more than to just be a great basketball coach to our student-athletes. She is focused on inspiring young people to become the best version of themselves, which will carry them throughout their lives. This matches perfectly with our mission here at Lafayette.”

“I am extremely grateful and honored to be the next head women’s basketball coach at Lafayette College,” Grentz stated. “I want to thank President Alison Byerly, Director of Athletics Bruce McCutcheon, Senior Associate Director of Athletics Kaity McKittrick and Vice President for Campus Life Annette Diorio for entrusting me to lead the women’s basketball program. I plan to uphold the high academic standards of Lafayette College while installing high athletic standards on the basketball court. My energy and enthusiasm for these student-athletes and this program to achieve success is unwavering. I look forward to leading the Lafayette Leopards to many future successes.”

In her career, Grentz made a postseason tournament in 25 of her 33 seasons. She has also posted seventeen 20-win seasons and produced three WNBA draft picks. She was a founding member of the Women’s Coaches Basketball Association, was an executive board member and served as the organization’s president for two years. She has been honored as coach of the year on 16 occasions.

In 1990, Grentz led the USA National Team to a pair of gold medals at the World Championships in Malaysia and the Goodwill Games in Seattle, Wash. Two years later she guided the USA Olympic Team to a bronze medal in Barcelona. In 2001 Grentz was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Grentz’s most recent head coaching job was at the University of Illinois where she spent 12 seasons from 1995-2007 in charge, leaving with a program-record 210 wins, a Big Ten Championship and five NCAA Tournament appearances. During her time in charge of the Fighting Illini, the team made a postseason tournament in 10 of her 12 seasons.

She was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in back-to-back seasons, 1996-97 and 1997-98 and was also honored as the Kodak District IV Coach of the Year after both seasons.

Prior to her 12-year run at Illinois, Grentz was the head coach at Rutgers University for 19 seasons from 1976-95, becoming the first full-time women’s basketball head coach in the country. With the Scarlet Knights, she won 434 games, a program record, and the AIAW National Championship in 1982.

She also reached the NCAA Tournament in nine consecutive seasons and won four Atlantic 10 championships, posting 20 or more wins in 14 seasons. Grentz was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year four times. She was also charter member of the Associated Press Women’s Basketball Poll during her time at Rutgers.

Grentz began her head coaching career at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia in 1974. She accumulated a 27-5 record in two seasons as the head coach.

As an undergraduate at Immaculata, Grentz was a three-time All-American for the Mighty Macs, where she was a member of three National Championship teams, serving as the team captain during the 1973-74 season. In 2014, Grentz and her teammates were inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

During her seven-year hiatus from basketball, Grentz served as the Vice President for University Advancement at her alma mater Immaculata. She also provided in-game color analysis and play by play for Big Ten Women’s basketball on the Big Ten Network from 2007-10.

In April of 2012, Grentz founded Grentz Elite Coaching, an elite and private academy dedicated to teaching the fundamentals of basketball to young girls and boys. Grentz Elite Coaching also teaches coaches of all levels on how to get the most out of their players and how to achieve their goals.

During the 2014-15 season, Grentz served as an assistant coach with Lafayette’s women’s basketball team. In that role, she helped with individual player development, implementation of practice, scouting and development of game strategies.

Grentz is married to her college sweetheart Karl Grentz. The couple has two grown sons together, Karl Justin and Kevin.

Grentz Year By Year Records
2006-07 Illinois 19-12 ● WNIT Second Round
2005-06 Illinois 16-15 ● WNIT First Round
2004-05 Illinois 17-13 ● WNIT First Round
2003-04 Illinois 10-18
2002-03 Illinois 17-12 ● NCAA First Round
2001-02 Illinois 15-14 ● WNIT Second Round
2000-01 Illinois 17-16 ● WNIT Second Round
1999-00 Illinois 23-11 ● NCAA Second Round
1998-99 Illinois 19-12 ● NCAA Second Round
1997-98 Illinois 20-10 14th ● NCAA Sweet 16
1996-97 Illinois 24-8 13th ● Big Ten Champs/NCAA Sweet 16
1995-96 Illinois 13-15

1994-95 Rutgers 17-13
1993-94 Rutgers 22-8 ● NCAA First Round
1992-93 Rutgers 22-9 ● NCAA Second Round
1991-92 Rutgers 21-11 ● NCAA Second Round
1990-91 Rutgers 23-7 20th ● NCAA First Round
1989-90 Rutgers 20-10 ● NCAA First Round
1988-89 Rutgers 24-7 ● NCAA Second Round
1987-88 Rutgers 27-5 8th ● NCAA Sweet 16
1986-87 Rutgers 30-3 5th ● NCAA Regional Finalist
1985-86 Rutgers 29-4 10th ● NCAA Regional Finalist
1984-85 Rutgers 19-9
1983-84 Rutgers 20-9
1982-83 Rutgers 19-10
1981-82 Rutgers 25-7 8th ● AIAW National Champions
1980-81 Rutgers 27-6 9th ● AIAW National Tournament
1979-80 Rutgers 28-5 8th ● AIAW National Tournament
1978-79 Rutgers 28-4 7th ● AIAW National Tournament
1977-78 Rutgers 16-12 ● EAIAW Tournament
1976-77 Rutgers 17-11 ● EAIAW Tournament

1975-76 St. Joseph’s 18-3
1974-75 St. Joseph’s 9-2
Grentz’s Overall Record 671-311 (.683) 33 seasons
at Illinois 210-156 (.574) 12 seasons
at Rutgers 434-150 (.743) 19 seasons
at St. Joseph’s 27-5 (.844) 2 seasons