Women’s basketball team finds gem in new assistant coach
Photo courtesy of GoLeopards.com
When head women’s basketball coach Dianne Nolan found herself without an assistant coach mid-September, she called her long-time friend Theresa Grentz.
At the time, Grentz, a decorated player and coach, had been retired from basketball for seven years. She had been working at her alma mater Immaculata University as Vice President for University Advancement, assisting as a volunteer coach for a local high school team, and running her own elite basketball coaching academy. Though this seems a very busy schedule, Grentz was able to set her own hours, allowing herself to enjoy her retirement.
So, when Nolan asked her to join the staff, Grentz was hesitant. Following a three-week trial period of waking up at 5:45 a.m., something she called her “practice,” she agreed to step in and help out for six months. She agreed to help run practices, recruit, teach, and scout for the 2014-2015 season. Lafayette’s women’s basketball team had found themselves an invaluable opportunity.
Grentz comes to Easton following a remarkable career as a head basketball coach and as a player. She has experience as a head coach on both the collegiate and national level, coaching the 1992 Olympic team to a bronze medal.
Grentz played at Immaculata College where she and her team won three national championships. She was also a three-time All-American. She spent a total of 33 years as a head coach at St. Joseph’s, Rutgers, and Illinois, accumulating 670 wins. She also spent ten years coaching in the U.S. program, where she selected as head coach of the 1992 Olympic team. Interestingly enough, this is Grentz’s first time as a Division 1 assistant coach.
Grentz has only been at Lafayette for a month, but she likes what she sees from Coach Nolan’s Leopards. She speaks of her admiration towards the beauty of the campus as well as the alumni support, but admits that the players were what really sold her on Lafayette.
“They’re great individuals, bright women, they want to get better. Under [Coach Nolan’s] leadership, it’s just a pleasure to be apart of it,” the Grentz said.
The Leopards will begin their season on November 14 against Delaware. In preseason polls, they were selected seventh, but Grentz remains optimistic.
“I think when it’s all said and done and the smoke has cleared, that may look very different,” she said.
Grentz stellar character is obvious, as she constantly gives all credit to Coach Nolan. She said that “nothing would make our staff happier than to see Coach Nolan cutting down nets. Because she deserves it, the team deserves it.”