Share “Basketball coaches: A woman's world”

By Berry Tramel Modified: October 24, 2008 at 12:35 pm •  Published: October 23, 2008
"Texas has done an incredible job of getting my name and my face out there.

"I think it’s a good thing, as long as we’re all good role models. I think we are. We want to impact the lives of young women in a positive way.”

Some criticize the cult of coaches that has pervaded men’s basketball. Could such a culture happen to the women’s game?

Depends on the personality.

"Coaches that want to be bullies and have too much power will do that,” Mulkey said.

"Whatever we can do to promote our sport, I guess it’s all good. There’s been many a year women’s basketball was overlooked.”

The celebrity status extends to the other coaches, too.

Fennelly joked about the high salaries of the rock stars but last March signed a 12-year, $10.6-million contract, with $7 million guaranteed, wages that will get you by in Ames, Iowa.

Goesternkors’ clothing line, Coale’s stilettos and Mulkey’s sequin blouse notwithstanding, the most topical wardrobe of a Big 12 coach in the last few years was the bright orange blazer Budke wore for big games last season.

Not going in the BBF collection, Blair cracked, but Budke admitted his status has changed since he brought the Cowgirls into the national spotlight.

"My first year in Stillwater, go to the store, nobody knows who you were,” Budke said. "And now you go to the store and people are suggesting plays to you. It is a little bit different now.

"It’s good for our sport. Our sport is continuing to grow.”

Fennelly is beloved in Iowa, and Cyclone observers say he’s easily the most popular coach on the Iowa State campus. Fennelly’s national appeal doesn’t match that of the rock stars, but he doesn’t seem to begrudge their status.

"They’re very good at doing more than just coaching basketball,” Fennelly said. "And they’ve made a name for themselves on a national basis that’s nothing but positive. They certainly deserve all the attention they get.”

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