Bonnie Henrickson is no stranger to success, and she continues to establish herself as one of the nation's brightest young coaches.
In six years as the head mentor at Virginia Tech, Henrickson has led the Hokies to a 135-54 record, four trips to the NCAA Tournament and two WNIT appearances. Henrickson's 2002-03 team became the ninth 20-plus win team in Hokie history and her sixth straight as the Virginia Tech head coach.
Henrickson may have given her best performance as a head coach last season, leading the Hokies to a 22-10 overall record. The Hokies posted a 10-6 record in the BIG EAST and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals. Tech was selected to the NCAA tournament and advanced to the second round.
In July 2000, she was the head coach of the women's USA Basketball R. William Jones Cup team that traveled to Taiwan for the Jones Cup competition. This appointment marked her second stint working with a USA Basketball team, but first as the head coach.
In 1999, after losing one of the best senior classes to graduation and battling injuries all year long, Henrickson did an outstanding job keeping the squad together and focused on its goals. Her squad advanced to the second round of the WNIT with a 20-11 record overall, marking the third-straight winning season in as many years, third trip to postseason play and third 20-win season for Tech.
Her 1998-99 Hokies posted a school-best 28-3 record, including a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16. For her efforts, Henrickson was singled out as Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year after the Hokies finished 15-1 in conference play. She also was a finalist for national coach of the year honors. She was selected to be an assistant coach on Team USA that won the silver medal in Spain in the summer of 1999, competing in the World University games.
Entering the Tech position in 1997-98 with 10 years of collegiate coaching experience, Henrickson led the Hokies to a 22-10 mark, the second round of the NCAAs and the biggest turnaround in school history.
Her first season in Blacksburg also brought the school's first Atlantic 10 Championship, its 300th win and two All-Americans. Henrickson's success didn't just begin with the 1997-98 season. Her previous four years as an assistant coach produced four trips to the NCAA Tournament and four conference titles - two each with Tech and the University of Iowa.
Henrickson's stint at Iowa also produced a Sweet 16 appearance by the Hawkeyes in 1996 and two Big 10 Conference Championships. In her two years, Iowa was a combined 45-14, 27-4 in 1996 and 18-10 in 1997. Her final contribution to Iowa before leaving for Tech was the signing of a recruiting class that ranked 18th in the nation.
Prior to taking the Iowa position, Henrickson helped the Hokies enjoy their greatest success to that point in her seven years as Carol Alfano's top assistant. Tech registered three consecutive 20-win seasons from 1993-95 and earned the school's first NCAA appearances in 1994 and 1995 while Henrickson served as associate head coach.
While she served as Tech's recruiting coordinator during her stay in Blacksburg, Henrickson was credited with signing some of the Hokies' biggest stars. Included in her list of impressive signees are former Hokies Christi Osborne and Jenny Root. Osborne was a three-time GTE Academic All-American while Root finished her career as the Hokies' all-time leading rebounder and earned Kodak Honorable Mention All-America honors. Root also was tabbed 1995 Metro Conference Player of the Year.
Henrickson recruited All-American Lisa Witherspoon as well as such career statistical leaders as Michelle Houseright and Katie O'Connor. She was also the first Tech coach to evaluate former Tech standout Tere Williams.
Henrickson, a Willmar, Minn., native, graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1986. As a player, she helped SCSU win three Northern Sun Conference championships and advance to three NCAA Division II quarterfinals.
In her four years as a player, Henrickson helped SCSU compile a 97-25 overall record including a 31-4 mark in her sophomore season. She still ranks among the school leaders in points (4th - 1,731), rebounds (3rd - 995), free throws (1st - 507) and free throw percentage (4th - .790). She also was named to the all-conference team three times. Henrickson served as team captain as a junior and senior.
She later earned her master's in physical education from Western Illinois University in 1988 while serving as a graduate assistant coach with the women's basketball team.
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