Indiana’s Teri Moren wins AP Coach of the Year
DALLAS -- Teri Moren has led Indiana to some unprecedented heights this season.
The team won its first Big Ten regular season championship in 40 years, rose to No. 2 in The Associated Press women's basketball poll, and earned the school's first No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Moren was honored Thursday as the AP women's basketball Coach of the Year, the first time she has won the award. She received 12 votes from the 28-member national media panel that votes on the AP Top 25 each week. South Carolina's Dawn Staley was second with eight votes. Utah's Lynne Roberts received five and Virginia Tech's Kenny Brooks three.
"I think a lot of people were like this is going to be a year where Indiana is reloading, rebuilding, they won't be as good as they had been the year prior. We were picked third in the Big Ten," Moren said.
Moren was surprised by her team, who told her she won by using an elaborate ruse.
"Anytime you can share it with people that made it happen. the staff, the players, the most important people who have been instrumental in the season and this award is special. I was speechless."
Times have changed, as Moren has built the program into a blue-collar team that focuses on defense and is a consistent Top 25 team the last few seasons, appearing in the poll for 75 consecutive weeks starting with the preseason one in 2019-2020. That's the fourth-longest active streak.
Before that, the Hoosiers had been ranked a total of six times.
"There were 300-400 people in the stands, now to what it is today, it's an unbelievable thing to watch it grow. Things you dream about, to see fans and bodies up in the rafters."
The Hoosiers had six of the school's top 10 most attended games this season, including crowds of more than 13,000 fans for the first round of the NCAA tournament and 14,000 for the second round game -- a shocking loss to Miami.
"It stings right now, but that last game doesn't define our season," Moren said.