|Sport(s)||Women's college basketball|
March 24, 1952|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame 2001|
2013 Joe Lapchick Character Award
Theresa Shank Grentz (born March 24, 1952), is the head coach of the women's basketball program at Lafayette College. She has also served as their head coach of the women's basketball program at the University of Illinois, Rutgers University and St. Josephs. She is a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Her career record is 671–309 and she served as a head coach for 32 years, with the last 13 as the Illinois head coach. She was the Olympic head coach in 1992; the team captured the Bronze medal in Barcelona.
Born Theresa Shank, Grentz was raised in a working-class district of Philadelphia and attended Cardinal O'Hara High School where she played basketball for her school in the Philadelphia Catholic League. She intended to go to college out of state, but while a high school senior, her family's house burned down, losing everything, so she decided to attend Immaculata College, then a women's college. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology in 1974.
While a student at Immaculata, she played for the Mighty Macs and, under coach Cathy Rush, led the team to three straight AIAW National Championships between 1972 and 1974. The 1974 title game was the first ever live coverage of a US women's basketball game. She scored over 1,000 points, and earned First Team All-America status three times. Immaculata retired her jersey, number 12. She was named the AMF Collegiate Player of the Year.
During her four years at the Pennsylvanian college, the Mighty Macs won three AIAW National Championships, from 1972-74. Grentz scored more than 1,000 career points for the Mighty Macs and was named a first team All-American for three consecutive years. She was named the 1974 AMF Collegiate Player of the Year and had her No. 12 jersey retired by Immaculata. The Mighty Macs, as a team were inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2014.
Grentz (Shank at the time) was named to the team representing the USA at the 1973 World University Games competition in Moscow, Soviet Union. It was the eighth such competition, but the first one in which the USA competed in women's basketball. The USA team had to play the Soviet Union in the opening round, and lost to the hosts, 92–43. The USA team bounced back and won their next two games. After preliminary play, the teams moved into medal rounds, where the first round loss carried over. In the medal round, the USA won their next three games, including a match against 6–0 Cuba, which the USA won 59–44. That sent them to the gold medal game, but against the host Soviet Union, now 7–0. The USSR won to capture the gold medal, while the USA finished with a silver in their first competition.
After graduating in 1974, Grentz began teaching at an elementary school, while working as a part-time assistant coach at Saint Joseph's College, where she later became head coach and compiled a record 27–5 in two seasons.
Grentz coached future New York Liberty player Sue Wicks at Rutgers, where she became the first full-time women's basketball head coach in the nation. She led Rutgers to nine straight postseason appearances and a 434-150 (.743) record during her tenure and won the 1982 AIAW National Championship.
Grentz guided the Lady Knights to a 30-3 record in 1986-87 to earn the Converse National Coach of the Year award. She also has been named the March of Dimes Coach of the Year (1990–91), the Metropolitan Women's Basketball Association Coach of the Year (1992–93) and the Newark Star Ledger Coach of the Year (1985–86). In addition, Grentz has twice been named the Kodak District II Coach of the Year and was honored four times as the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year.
University of Illinois
Grentz retired following the 2006-07 season after 12 season with the Illini. She compiled a record of 210-156 at Illinois, including one Big Ten Championship (1997), two Sweet Sixteens and five NCAA Tournament appearances.
On April 20, 2015, Lafayette College announced Theresa Grentz as their new Head Women’s Basketball Coach. 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 was selected as the head coach of the team representing the USA in 1985 at the William Jones Cup competition in Taipei, Taiwan. The team opened with a lopsided 92–18 victory over the Philippines, then faced Sweden in the second game. The game was close in the first half, and the half ended with the game tied at 31 points each. The USA pulled out to a six-point lead early in the second half but Sweden responded by scoring thirteen consecutive points to take a lead they would not relinquish. The USA team next faced undefeated South Korea. The game was tied again at the half, but this time the USA took a lead in the second half and held on to the lead for the win. They next played undefeated Republic of China and managed to come away with a win by the slimmest of margins, 56–55. After defeating Germany, they had another challenge from Canada, who raced out to a 42–30 lead by halftime. The Canadians still had a twelve-point lead late in the game, but the USA mounted a comeback, and out scored their opponent 18–4 to win the game 65–63. After beating Brazil, they faced Japan in the final game of the competition. Japan was in the lead with five minutes to go in the game, but the USA came back to win with a two-point margin 56–54. The win clinched the championship and the gold medal for the USA team.
Grentz served as coach of the USA team at the 1990 Goodwill games, and the 1990 World Championships. The 1990 team won the gold medal in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Grentz served as head coach of the 1992 Olympic team in Barcelona, which won the bronze medal.
Grentz had other USA Basketball experience. In 1981, she directed the U.S. Dial Junior National Team in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and the U.S. Maccabiah Team in Israel, where the team won a silver medal. Grentz coached the U.S. World University Games team in Toronto in 1989 before heading the 1990 U.S. World Championships team in Malaysia and the U.S. Goodwill Games team in Seattle. Both of her 1990 national teams won gold medals in their respective tournaments. In 1990, Grentz was the head coach for the USA National team at the World Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The team, behind the 22 point per game scoring of Teresa Edwards, won all eight contests, with only the win over Cuba decided by single digits. The USA team faced Yugoslavia in the gold medal game, and won 88–78.
Grentz now owns her own basketball academy: Grentz Elite Coaching. It is located at West Chester, Pennsylvania. She runs clinics and camps around the country. Recent stops have included New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Maryland.
Awards and honors
- 1987—Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coach of the Year
- 2007—Carol Eckman Award
The Grentz Record
|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||14||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|1996-97||Illinois||24-8||13||NCAA Sweet Sixteen, Big Ten Champions|
|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||20||NCAA First Round|
|1989-90||Rutgers||20-10||-||NCAA First Round|
|1988-89||Rutgers||24-7||-||NCAA Second Round|
|1987-88||Rutgers||27-5||8||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|1986-87||Rutgers||30-3||5||NCAA Regional Finalist|
|1985-86||Rutgers||29-4||10||NCAA Regional Finalist|
|1981-82||Rutgers||25-7||8||AIAW National Champions|
|1980-81||Rutgers||27-6||9||AIAW National Tournament|
|1979-80||Rutgers||28-5||8||AIAW National Tournament|
|1978-79||Rutgers||28-4||7||AIAW National Tournament|
|Grentz's Overall Record: (33 years - 671-309)|
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