Theresa Grentz
Biographical details
Born (1952-03-24) March 24, 1952 (age 69)
Glenolden, Pennsylvania
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1974Saint Joseph's
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
Joe Lapchick Character Award (2013)[1]
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Medal record
Women's Basketball
Representing  United States
World University Games
Silver medal – second place 1973 Moscow Team Competition
Head Coach for  United States
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1992 Barcelona Team Competition
FIBA World Championship for Women
Gold medal – first place 1990 Kuala Lumpur Team Competition
Goodwill Games
Gold medal – first place 1990 Seattle Team Competition
William Jones Cup
Gold medal – first place 1985 Taipei Team Competition

Theresa Shank Grentz (born March 24, 1952),[2] is a long-time coach, most recently, the head coach of the women's basketball program at Lafayette College.[3][4] She has also served as the head coach of the women's basketball programs at the University of Illinois, Rutgers University and St. Josephs. She is a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. [5] Her career record is 681–360 and she served as a head coach for 35 years. She was the Olympic head coach in 1992; the team captured the Bronze medal in Barcelona.[6] She led her college team, Immaculata, to back-to-back-to-back National Championships from 1972 to 1974. For her efforts, Grentz' Immaculata team was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.


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.[7] She graduated with a B.S. in Biology in 1974.[8]

She is married to Karl Grentz and they have two sons.[8]

Playing career

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.[9] She scored over 1,000 points, and earned First Team All-America status three times.[9] Immaculata retired her jersey, number 12. She was named the AMF Collegiate Player of the Year.[9]

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.[10]

Grentz played before the first ever television audience of women's basketball when Immaculata won its third title on March 23, 1974.[11]

USA Basketball

Grentz (Shank at the time) was named to the team representing the US 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.[12]

Coaching career

St. Josephs

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.[9]


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.[10] She led Rutgers to nine straight postseason appearances and a 434-150 (.743) record during her tenure and won the 1982 AIAW National Championship.[13][14]

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.[11]

University of Illinois

Grentz was hired as head basketball coach by Illinois in 1995. 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.[11]

Lafayette College

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.[15]

USA Basketball

Grentz was selected as the head coach of the team representing the US 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.[16]

Grentz served as coach of the USA team at the 1990 Goodwill games, and the 1990 World Championships.[9] The 1990 team won the gold medal in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[17] Grentz served as head coach of the 1992 Olympic team in Barcelona, which won the bronze medal.[18]

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.[11] 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.[19]

Other Work

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.[20]

Awards and honors


The Grentz Record

Year School Record Rank Highlights
2006-07 Illinois 19-12 - WNIT Second Round
2005-06 Illinois 16-15 - WNIT First Round
2004-05 Illinois 17-13 - WNIT First Round
2003-04 Illinois 10-18 - -
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
1995-96 Illinois 13-15 - -
- - - - -
1994-95 Rutgers 17-13 - -
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
1984-85 Rutgers 19-9 - -
1983-84 Rutgers 20-9 - -
1982-83 Rutgers 19-10 - -
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
1977-78 Rutgers 16-12 - EAIAW Tournament
1976-77 Rutgers 17-11 - EAIAW Tournament
- - - - -
1975-76 St. Joseph's 18-3 - -
1974-75 St. Joseph's 9-2 - -

Grentz's Overall Record: (33 years - 671-309) [11]

See also


  1. ^ "Character Award – Joe Lapchick Character Award Foundation".
  2. ^ "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  3. ^ "Theresa Grentz". Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  4. ^ "Grentz out as Lafayette women's basketball coach". Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  5. ^ "WBHOF Inductees". WBHOF. Retrieved August 1, 2009.
  6. ^ "Games of the XXVth Olympiad -- 1992". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on April 24, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
  7. ^ Grundy p. 160
  8. ^ a b Hawkes, Nena; Seggar, John F.A. (2000). Celebrating Women Coaches: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 69–73. ISBN 9780313309120.
  9. ^ a b c d e Porter pp. 176–177
  10. ^ a b JERARDI, DICK (August 8, 2014). "The Mighty Macs enter hoops Hall en masse". Phill,com. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Player Bio: Theresa Grentz". CSTV Networks, Inc. Archived from the original on October 26, 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2006.
  12. ^ "Eighth World University Games -- 1973". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  13. ^ "NCAA Women's Basketball Coaching Records through 2010-11" (PDF). Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  14. ^ "Hall of Famer Theresa Grentz Steps Down as Illinois Women's Basketball Coach". CSTV Networks, Inc. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "1985 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on April 28, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  17. ^ "ELEVENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN -- 1990". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on April 24, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  18. ^ "Games of the XXVth Olympiad -- 1992". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on April 24, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  19. ^ "ELEVENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN -- 1990". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 14, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  20. ^ "Grentz Elite Coaching".
  21. ^ "Past Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  22. ^ "Carol Eckman Award". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.