Originally posted by Dan Johnson of the Des Moines RegisterIowa State coach Bill Fennelly was a lot more interested Monday in his team's first win of the season than the 400th of his career. The Cyclones took control in the first half and breezed to an 85-62 season-opening women's basketball victory against Cal State Fullerton (1-1).
Fennelly's career record improved to 400-163 - 166-53 in seven seasons at Toledo, and 234-110 while starting his 12th season at Iowa State. He ranks 40th nationally among the winningest active Division I coaches, and his .710 winning percentage ranks 21st all-time.
"I'm seriously a lot happier being 1-0 than having 400 wins," Fennelly said. "The kids worked really hard. It's a moment to reflect about the people in your life and how lucky you are to be doing what you're doing."
Medders said "He means a lot to me. He's the number one reason why I'm 2,000 miles away from my family (in Los Angeles)."
She said she wasn't surprised that Fennelly downplayed the milestone.
"That's his personality," Medders said. "He's never been the type of person to want it upon himself. He told us before the game that this is about you guys enjoying this year. That's not coach-talk, that's what he really feels.
"Four hundred wins - that's a whole lot. I don't know if it was a 'play one for the Gipper' type of thing, but if you think that wasn't in the backs of our minds, that's crazy. He means too much to us and all of our fans."
"Medders" in the above excerpt refers to Iowa State's Senior point guard Lyndsey Medders, who led Division I in assists per game last season, despite playing with a broken foot. Iowa State made the WNIT last season, and they and Nebraska appear to be the top Big 12 North teams this season, according to ESPN.com's Mechelle Voepel.
Congratulations to Coach Fennelly on achieving this career milestone. The full article can be found here (desmoinesregister.com) . A video tribute to Coach Fennely is available on the Cyclones web site (cyclones.com) while Mechelle Voepel's full analysis of the Women's Big 12 Conference can be found here (sports.espn.go.com) .