Q: When you were coaching at the U what time did your day begin?
A: Seven in the morning. I’d get up and work out. I think it’s a responsibility of a coach, you’re coaching athletes, you need to stay in shape and work out, so you can function on the basketball court. So you can function being active for a full day. I get work done here at home — e-mails, phone calls — even before my workday began. Get to work and then I’m working until 11 o’clock or midnight every single night, seven days a week.
Q: What’s your day like now?
A: Oh, heaven. I’m still up early. I get an extra long workout in, get an extra long walk with my dogs. I’m out in the community and still doing a lot of things in the community I was doing before, connections. I’m actually getting some projects done that I haven’t be able to do to my house. Spending extra time with friends and family. Enjoying life and getting a new perspective on things and resetting myself.
Q: What’s next?
A: I really haven’t thought about what I’m going to do next. I’m really taking some time off. I’ve been coaching Division I basketball 27 years, 12 years here at the University of Minnesota. There is very little time during your professional career that you get to take a month or two off, sit back and evaluate what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. A lot of things happen for a reason. A lot of times when you hit a speed bump it takes you a lot further than you were. I’m going to stay extremely involved in the community. I’ve got deep roots here. I’m going to get deeper roots, put more time into my nonprofit TeamWomenMN and take that to another level: speaking engagements, work with the Lynx a little bit this summer. There are a lot of options out there.
Q: Is there one thing college women’s basketball needs to do to attract more people to the games?
A: Absolutely. Marketing departments really need to put a lot more money into marketing women’s basketball. That’s your marquee sport, No. 1 sport at most schools. They need to make the environment a lot more fan friendly like the WNBA. They play music. They have a lot of events. They keep fans engaged. That’s not what college women’s basketball does a very good job at right now.
Q: Is there one thing that the sports-attending fans needs to know about women’s basketball that would make them realize they should attend the games?
A: It’s all about our student athletes. Our student athletes work so hard. What they do, it’s not easy. They put blood, sweat and tears into training, school, studying. There are a lot of pressures, expectations on those kids. They need to come support the student athlete, more than anything.
Q: Do you foresee a day when a woman will coach a Division I men’s basketball team?
A: I sure hope so. I hope women just stay in the game coaching women right now. That percentage has gone down. There are lot of men coaching women’s sports. For women to cross that line and go on the men’s side, I hope that happens, but I hope women stay involved in coaching women, period.