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Former Rutgers coach Theresa Grentz elected into Basketball Hall of Fame

She was instrumental in turning the Scarlet Knights program into one of the best in women’s college basketball.

Rutgers Athletics

Former Rutgers women’s basketball head coach Theresa Shank Grentz was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2022 this past weekend.

Grentz turned Rutgers into a nationally relevant program in women’s college basketball during her tenure as head coach from 1976 to 1995. She was the first full-time coach in program history and finished with a 434-150 record with a .743 winning percentage in 19 seasons. She led the Scarlet Knights to the 1982 AIAW national championship as well as took RU to nine consecutive NCAA Tournaments. They advanced to the Sweet Sixteen three times and made and two Elite Eight appearances in back to back seasons in 1986 and 1987. Overall, Rutgers had 20 or more wins in 14 seasons and won four Atlantic 10 championships under Grentz. She was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year four times and was named National Coach of the Year in leading RU to a 30-3 record during the 1986-1987 season.

In addition to Rutgers, Grentz coached at Illinois for 12 seasons that included one Big Ten title and two Sweet 16 appearances. She finished with a 210-156 record for the Illini and won Big Ten Coach of the Year honors twice.

Grentz started her coaching career at St. Joseph’s and finished it at Lafayette. She finished her coaching career with 681 collegiate wins. With Team USA, she led them to a gold medal at the 1990 FIBA World Championships and a bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

As a player, Grentz was a three-time All-American at Immaculata University where she led them to three consecutive AIAW national titles. She was named the National Player of the Year in 1974 and had her No. 12 jersey retired by the school.

In 2001, Grentz was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2014, Grentz and her Immaculata teammates, nicknamed the “Mighty Macs”, were elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

She was also a founding member of the Women’s Coaches Basketball Association, serving as an executive board member as well as president for two years.

Congratulations on Grentz being honored once again in her legendary basketball career. Her contributions to Rutgers women’s basketball will never be forgotten.

13 members overall were announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this past weekend. The Class of 2022 will be inducted on September 9-10 in Springfield, Massachusetts.