‘72 ’73 ‘74
native of Glenolden, Pennsylvania, Theresa
Shank Grentz played on the court at Cardinal
O’Hara High School, leading her team to
three Philadelphia Catholic and City League titles.
At Immaculata, where she majored in biology with
a minor in chemistry, Grentz played on all three
Immaculata women’s national championship squads.
In 1974, she was named to the U.S. national team
in the World Basketball Championship Games.
Grentz’s coaching career began shortly after her
Immaculata graduation in 1974, when she was hired
as the part-time head women’s basketball coach at
St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. After guiding
the university’s Hawks to two winning seasons, Grentz
was hired at Rutgers, becoming the first Division I
full-time women’s basketball head coach in the nation.
She spent 19 years at Rutgers, where she coached the
Scarlet Knights to nine NCAA Tournament appearances
and to the 1982 AIAW national championship title.
In 1995, Grentz became the head women’s basketball
coach at the University of Illinois winning the
school’s only Big Ten title in women’s basketball
in 1997. She earned Big Ten Coach of the Year
and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association
(WBCA) District Coach of the Year in 1997 and
1998. During her time at Illinois, she also was
named the 1992 U.S. Olympic team’s coach.
Grentz was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall
of Fame in 2001. Recently she won the WBCA’s Carol
Eckman Award, and was named Female Athlete of
the Millennium by the Delaware County Daily Times in
1999. Grentz also served as president of the Women’s
Basketball Coaches’ Association (WBCA) for two years.
At the time of her retirement, Grentz was the
tenth winningest Division I women’s basketball
coach in history. Today, she serves as the Vice
President for University Advancement at her
alma mater. Grentz lives in West Chester, PA
with her husband, Karl. They have two sons.
Reflecting on her time on the Mighty Macs team,
Grentz says, “It was great teamwork, it was great
camaraderie, we cared for one another, we worked
for one another…And the goal was to win.”
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