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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|