Coach Kathi Bennett is in her fifth year at the helm of the IU women's basketball program, where she has led the Hoosiers to the WNIT tournament, the NCAA tournament and its first-ever Big Ten tournament championship. In her previous coaching experience, she led Wisconsin-Oshkosh to a 31-0 record in 1995-1996, winning the NCAA Division III national championship and guided Evansville to the NCAA tournament the year it won the Missouri Valley Conference championship. The Hoosiers have a 10-14 record overall, 3-10 in the Big Ten, as of this posting, but have had to play the entire year without senior Jenny DeMuth. The February 20 game between the Hoosiers and the Boilers is part of the "Pack the Hall for a Cure" promotion: if 10,000+ fans attend the game at Assembly Hall, Vera Bradley Designs will contribute $10,000 to breast cancer research.
To learn more about Coach Bennett, check out her page on the official Indiana University sports Web site:
1) How did you become interested in coaching? My Dad
2) Which coach (from any sport, any era) do you most admire and why? My Dad (Dick Bennett-head basketball coach at WSU) because I have seen him succeed by doing things the right way. He does things with such passion.
3) What is the best part about Indiana University and the Bloomington, Indiana, community? The way they all come together for good causes (ie: Pack the Hall).
4) What words do you want to come to mind when people think of IU's women's basketball program? DEFENSE!!!!!!
5) What one coaching cliche would you ban from ever being uttered again? "Just take it one game at a time."
6) What is good right now in the world of collegiate women's basketball? There is more parity. There are more and more good teams out there and not just a select few like there used to be, I think that will continue too. There are also more fans coming to games and I think the level of play has gone up.
7) What rule would you erase from the books? I'd put more time on the shot clock.
8) True or False: It is more difficult to sustain a program's excellence than to achieve it initially. True
9) What traits or attributes do you look for when recruiting high school or junior college players? Attitude is everything. I also look for how hard they play and if they have a real "feel" for the game.
10) Can you describe how it feels when you coach against a former colleague or a very good friend? It's difficult because you know what they are going through.
11) How would you describe Purdue's Kristy Curry, in one sentence? She's very nice. She has gone out of her way to help me in any way possible.