Bonnie Hendrickson

One of the top young coaches in the country, Bonnie Henrickson has invigorated the University of Kansas women's basketball program after two seasons as head coach of the Jayhawks.


After setting a strong foundation in her initial year on the job, Henrickson's second campaign proved that she has Kansas women's basketball moving in the right direction as she guided the team to the postseason WNIT - KU's first postseason appearance since 2000. Under her guidance in 2005-06, Kansas finished 17-13 to mark its first winning season in six years. Along the way, KU set a school record with 12-straight victories to open the season and snapped a 36-game drought against ranked opponents by defeating No. 23 Texas.

Using the qualities that earned her the 2005 Carol Eckman Award -- an award given by the WBCA which recognizes a coach who exemplifies spirit, integrity and character through sportsmanship, commitment to the student-athlete, honesty, ethical behavior, courage and dedication to purpose -- she developed Crystal Kemp and Erica Hallman into All-Big 12 selections for the second straight year. Kemp was named a first team member, making her just the third Jayhawk to earn such an honor.

In 2004-05, Kansas posted its most wins (12) and conference wins (5) in four seasons, and placed eighth in the Big 12 Conference -- the highest Jayhawk finish in five years. In the process, she developed Kemp and Hallman into KU's first two All-Big 12 selections since 2000-01.

Henrickson's success has also been evident off the court. In the classroom, the overall team GPA has steadily risen since she arrived in Lawrence. In two years, KU has earned five Academic All-Big 12 honors and a total of 12 Athletic Director Honor Roll awards. Jayhawk fans have taken notice of what Henrickson has been able to accomplish as a school-record average of over 3,000 fans attended KU's 19 regular season home games in 2005-06.

Henrickson arrived at KU after establishing herself as one of the nation's brightest young coaches at Virginia Tech, where she was head coach for seven seasons and guided the Hokies to a record of 158-62 and seven postseason appearances. Under her leadership, Virginia Tech reached the NCAA tournament five times and the WNIT twice, and won 20 or more games every season. In 2003-04, Henrickson led the Hokies to a 23-8 overall record, including a 10-6 mark in the Big East, a conference which placed eight teams in the NCAA Tournament. Virginia Tech advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the second straight year before bowing out to No. 5 Penn State.

When Henrickson took over at Virginia Tech for the 1997-98 season, she orchestrated the biggest turnaround in school history. She guided her team to a 22-10 record, the school's first Atlantic 10 Conference title and an NCAA second-round appearance just one season after the Hokies had finished last in the Atlantic 10 Conference with a 10-21 record.

Henrickson, who owns a total of 18 years of coaching experience, has helped guide teams to postseason play 12 of the last 13 years. After serving as assistant coach for the Hokies from 1988-93, Henrickson was elevated to associate head coach in the 1993-94 season. That year, Virginia Tech improved its record to 24-6 and made its first-ever NCAA appearance. The following season Tech recorded its first-ever NCAA tournament win.

On the international scene, Henrickson served as the head coach of the R. William Jones Cup USA Basketball Team that won the gold medal in July 2000, and also served as assistant for the Team USA squad that won the silver medal at the 1999 World University Games. Henrickson took her talents to the University of Iowa to serve as an assistant coach in 1995-96. Her two-year stint at Iowa produced a Sweet 16 appearance in 1996 and two Big Ten Championships. In her two years, Iowa had a record of 45-14.

In July 2000, she was the head coach of the women's USA Basketball team that traveled to Taiwan for the R. William Jones Cup competition. This appointment marked her second stint with a USA Basketball team; she also served as an assistant coach on the Team USA squad that won the silver medal at the 1999 World University Games.

Her 1998-99 Hokies posted a school-best 28-3 record, including a 15-1 conference record and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16. For her efforts, Henrickson was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year. She also was a finalist for national coach of the year honors.

During her first stint at Tech, Henrickson was credited with recruiting some of the Hokies' biggest stars, including All-American Lisa Witherspoon, Virginia Tech career statistical leaders Michelle Houseright and Katie O'Connor, three-time GTE Academic All-American Christi Osborne and honorable mention All-American Jenny Root, who finished her career as the Hokies' all-time leading rebounder.

Henrickson, a Willmar, Minn., native, graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1986. As a player, she helped SCSU win three Northern Sun Conference championships and advance to three NCAA Division II quarterfinals. In her four years as a player, SCSU compiled a 97-25 overall record, including a 31-4 mark in her sophomore season. She still ranks among the school leaders in points (4th - 1,731), rebounds (3rd - 995), free throws (1st - 507) and free throw percentage (4th - .790). She also was named to the all-conference team three times. Henrickson served as team captain her junior and senior years.

She earned her master's degree in physical education in 1988 from Western Illinois University while serving as a graduate assistant coach with the women's basketball team.

Henrickson was named the fifth head women's basketball coach at Kansas on March 29, 2004.

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