Nebraska Cornhuskers women's basketball

The Nebraska Cornhuskers represent the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in women's college basketball.

Nebraska Cornhuskers women's basketball
2018–19 Nebraska Cornhuskers women's basketball team
UniversityUniversity of Nebraska–Lincoln
Head coachAmy Williams (2nd season)
ConferenceBig Ten
LocationLincoln, Nebraska
ArenaPinnacle Bank Arena
(Capacity: 14,970)
ColorsScarlet and Cream[1]
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
2010, 2013
NCAA Tournament Second round
1993, 1998, 2008, 2010, 2013
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1988, 1993, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018
Conference Tournament Champions
Conference Regular Season Champions
1988, 2010


Women's basketball started as a club sport in 1970 and five years later it became a varsity sport when scholarships were offered. George Nicodemus was the first head coach and had a 22–9 record in his first season, taking the Huskers to the AIAW where they lost in the second round of the tournament.[2] Five different head coaches would be hired after Nicodemus left the program in 1971 until 1986 when Angela Beck took a stable head coach position. Beck led the Huskers to their first NCAA bid after winning the Big 8 championship in 1988. She led the Huskers back to the NCAA in 1993 and 96. She left the program in 1996 to pursue other opportunities and was replaced by Paul Sanderford. Sanderford led the Huskers to a NCAA sub-regional in 1998 and 1999 and received a third consecutive NCAA bid in 2000. Connie Yori became the head coach in 2002 and has led the Huskers to WNIT in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and NCAA in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014

The women’s basketball team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has made 13 NCAA Tournament trips since 1988.[3] The Huskers have also have had eight NCAA Tournament victories.[3] In the past six years alone, the Huskers have played five games for a conference title. Also in the past six years the Huskers have made two trips to the NCAA Sweet 16 and they have had 22 All-Conference Awards.[2] Some of the awards include Jordan Hooper receiving 2014 Big 10 Player of the Year in 2014, in 2010 Kelsey Griffin was awarded Big 12 Play of the Year in 2010. Head coach Connie Yori has received the award for Coach-of-the-Year in 2010, 2013, and in 2014.[2] Yori also won the national Coach-of-the-Year award in 2010. The Huskers also won the Big Ten Tournament in 2014 and won the Big Twelve Championship in 2010.[3]

As part of the 2010–13 NCAA conference realignment, the women's basketball team began competing in the Big Ten Conference in the 2011–12 season. There are fourteen colleges that are a part of the Big Ten Conference. The other colleges include the University of Illinois, Indiana University, the University of Iowa, the University of Maryland, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, The Ohio State University, Penn State University, Rutgers University, the University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Purdue University, and the University of Wisconsin.[4]

Pinnacle Bank Arena

The Huskers play at the Pinnacle Bank Arena that was recently built in 2013, which cost $179 million to build. The new arena has a capacity of 14,970 people for basketball games.[5] The women’s basketball team has an average of 6,000 fans per game, which ranks the Huskers as 11th nationally for women’s basketball home attendance.[3] Both the Nebraska men's and women's basketball teams had previously played at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Pinnacle Bank Arena is located in the West Haymarket District of Lincoln, Nebraska.[5]

Connie Yori (2002–2016)

Connie Yori became the head coach for the women's Nebraska basketball team on June 24, 2002. In Yori's first season in 2002–2003 at Nebraska the Huskers struggled and ended with an 8–20 record and the team finished last in the Big 12 Conference.[3][6] In the next season in 2003–2004 the team improved to an 18–12 record due to Yori's first recruiting class.[3][6] The Huskers made a post season trip to the 2004 WNIT, where they beat Drake 73–60.[3] This victory over Drake marked Nebraska's first postseason win since 1998.[3] In the 2004–2005 Nebraska season the team finished with an 8–8 record in the Big 12 Conference and 18–14 record despite playing 11 games against top 25 teams.[2] Overall Yori has led the Huskers to 39 all-conference awards, which include 12 first-team, five second-team, 12 honorable-mention, five all-freshman and five all-defensive honors.[3][6] In Yori's past six season at Nebraska her teams have claimed six All-American awards.[3] These awards include the first-team WBCA honors for Jordan Hooper in 2014 and Kelsey Griffin in 2010, and honorable-mention awards for Hooper in 2012 and 2013, Lindsey Moore in 2013 and Rachel Theriot in 2014.[3] Also in the past six years the women's Nebraska basketball team has averaged nearly 24 wins per season under Yori.[6] In 2010 Yori was WBCA coach of the year, Big 12 Conference Coach of the year, Naismith National Coach of the Year, U.S. Basketball Writer's Association National Coach of the Year, and Kay Yow National Coach of the Year.[3] Yori was the 2013 and 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year, and Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year in 2013 and in 2014.[3] The overall record for Yori at Nebraska is 262–153 in 13 seasons.[3][6] Yori resigned in 2016.[7]

Amy Williams (2016–present)

On April 11, 2016, Nebraska announced the hiring of Amy Williams as the next head coach of the Nebraska women's basketball program. Williams enters her tenure in Lincoln with a career-coaching record of 193–109 (.639). Prior to Lincoln, Williams spent four years coaching at South Dakota, where she guided the Coyotes to two Summit League championships, one Summit League Tournament championship, one NCAA Tournament berth and the WNIT championship in 2016. She began her head coaching career at NAIA Rogers State in Oklahoma, where she started the program from scratch and in her five seasons made the Hillcats an NAIA contender. Before her head coaching experience, Williams spent time as an assistant coach at Texas-San Antonio (2000–01), Oklahoma State (2001–05), and Tulsa (2005–07).

After going 7-22 in year one, Amy Williams led Nebraska to a 21-11 record in 2017-18 in year second year at the helm, including an 11-5 record in Big Ten play to finish in a tie for third-place in the final league standings. This led to Amy Williams being named the 2017-18 Big Ten Coach of the Year.[8]

Williams, then Amy Gusso, is a former Nebraska women's basketball player. She was a four-year letterwinner at Nebraska, playing from 1994 to 1998, graduating in 1998 with a degree in biology and mathematics. She was an Academic All-Big 12 selection as a senior in 1997–98 and a Phillips 66 Student-Athlete of the Week in 1997.[9]

Year by year results

Conference tournament winners noted with # Source [2]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason Coaches' poll AP poll
Jan Callahan (Independent) (1974–1975)
1974–75 Jan Callahan 9–7
Jan Callahan: 9–7
George Nicodemus (Independent) (1975–1977)
1975–76 George Nicodemus 21–9NWIT Fifth Place
1976–77 George Nicodemus 21–16
George Nicodemus: 42–25
Marcia Walker (Independent) (1977–1978)
1977–78 Marcia Walker 18–11
Marcia Walker: 18–11
Lorrie Gallagher (Independent) (1978–1980)
1978–79 Lorrie Gallagher 23–13AIAW Regional
1979–80 Lorrie Gallagher 23–17AIAW Regional
Lorrie Gallagher: 46–30
Colleen Matsuhara (Independent, Big 8) (1980–1983)
1980–81 Colleen Matsuhara 18–13AIAW Regional
1981–82 Colleen Matsuhara 14–17
Big Eight Conference
1982–83 Colleen Matsuhara 14–145–95th
Colleen Matsuhara: 46–445–9
Kelly Hill (Big 8) (1983–1986)
1983–84 Kelly Hill 16–126–86th
1984–85 Kelly Hill 10–185–96th
1985–86 Kelly Hill 11–174–104th
Kelly Hill: 37–4715–27
Angela Beck (Big 8, Big 12) (1986–1997)
1986–87 Angela Beck 16–138–64th
1987–88 Angela Beck 22–711–31stNCAA Second Round (Bye)
1988–89 Angela Beck 14–145–97th
1989–90 Angela Beck 10–182–12T-7th
1990–91 Angela Beck 17–118–63rd
1991–92 Angela Beck 21–119–53rdNWIT Fourth Place
1992–93 Angela Beck 23–810–42ndNCAA Second Round (Play-In)2222
1993–94 Angela Beck 17–137–74th
1994–95 Angela Beck 13–144–107th
1995–96 Angela Beck 19–108–6T-3rdNCAA First Round
Big 12 Conference
1996–97 Angela Beck 19–98–86th (Big 12)
Angela Beck: 191–12880–76
Paul Sanderford (Big 12) (1997–2002)
1997–98 Paul Sanderford 23–1011–5T-3rdNCAA Second Round
1998–99 Paul Sanderford 21–128–8T-5thNCAA First Round
1999–2000 Paul Sanderford 18–1310–65thNCAA First Round
2000–01 Paul Sanderford 12–184–1210th
2001–02 Paul Sanderford 14–164–1211th
Paul Sanderford: 88–6937–43
Connie Yori (Big 12, Big Ten) (2002–2016)
2002–03 Connie Yori 8–201–1512th
2003–04 Connie Yori 18–127–9T-7thWNIT Sixteen
2004–05 Connie Yori 18–148–8T-6thWNIT Sixteen
2005–06 Connie Yori 19–138–8T-6thWNIT Quarterfinals
2006–07 Connie Yori 22–1010–6T-4thNCAA First Round
2007–08 Connie Yori 21–129–76thNCAA Second Round
2008–09 Connie Yori 15–166–10T-7thWNIT First Round (Bye)
2009–10 Connie Yori 32–216–01stNCAA Sweet Sixteen74
2010–11 Connie Yori 13–183–1312th
Big Ten Conference
2011–12 Connie Yori 24–910–66thNCAA First Round17
2012–13 Connie Yori 25–912–42ndNCAA Sweet Sixteen2524
2013–14 Connie Yori 26–712–43rdNCAA Second Round1317
2014–15 Connie Yori 21–1110–87thNCAA First Round
2015–16 Connie Yori 18–139–9T-7thWNIT First Round
Connie Yori: 280–166121–107
Amy Williams (Big Ten) (2016–present)
2016–17 Amy Williams 7-223-13T-11th
2017-18 Amy Williams 21-1111-5T-3rdNCAA First Round
Amy Williams: 28–3314–18

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


Retired numbers

Nebraska has retired three jersey numbers. [10]

Nebraska Cornhuskers retired numbers
No. Player Position Tenure Year retired
51Karen JenningsF1989–19931994
30Maurtice IvyG1984–19882011
23Kelsey GriffinF2005–20102014

Huskers in the WNBA

The first Nebraska player to go to the WNBA was Nicole Kubik in 2000. Along with being the first Nebraska player to go to the WNBA, Kubik was also Nebraska’s first ever first-round pick to go to the WNBA when she was drafted to play for the Phoenix Mercury.[3] The next Nebraska player to go to the WNBA was Anna DeForge, however Deforge was not drafted she had a free agency tryout for the Detroit Shock which was also in 2000.[11] In 2007 Kiera Hardy was drafted to the Connecticut Suns but did not finish out the season.[3] The Connecticut Suns also picked up former Husker Danielle Page, however Page was also a free agent.[3] The next female Husker to be drafted into the WNBA was Cory Montgomery when she was drafted to the New York Liberty in 2010.[12] Kelsey Griffin made Husker history when she became the third overall pick when she was drafted by the Connecticut Sun.[12] The next Husker to be drafted into the WNBA was Lindsey Moore when she was drafted to the Minnesota Lynx in 2013. The last Husker to be drafted to the WNBA was Jordan Hooper in 2014 when she was the thirteenth overall draft pick to the Tulsa Shock.[3][12] The former Huskers that have been playing in the WNBA have made a few contributions while they have been playing.[12] Lindsey Moore was a part of a WNBA Championship in 2013 as a rookie. In 2004 and 2006 Anna Deforge was named as a WNBA All-Star.[12] Deforge was playing for the Phoenix Mercury in 2004 and was playing for the Indiana Fever in 2006.[11] Kelsey Griffin was named to the WNBA All-Rookie when she was playing for the Connecticut Sun in 2010.[12]


  1. "Nebraska Athletics Brand Guide" (PDF). July 1, 2019. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  2. "Media Guide". University of Nebraska. Retrieved 10 Aug 2013.
  3. Griesch, Jeff. "2015–16 Nebraska Women's Basketball Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  4. "Big Ten Conference Official Site". Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  5. "Pinnacle Bank Arena :: History". Retrieved 2015-11-17.
  6. "Connie Yori". Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  7. Star, Brian Rosenthal | Lincoln Journal Star, Brent Wagner | Lincoln Journal. "Yori out as Nebraska women's basketball coach". Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  10. Nebraska Women's Basketball History
  11. "WNBA". Anna Deforge. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  12. "Huskers in the WNBA". Retrieved 2015-11-04.
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