Women's basketball hires coach
After a process that lasted exactly three weeks, Eastern Michigan University hired former Kansas assistant coach Tory Verdi to lead its women’s basketball team into the future.
EMU announced the five-year, $165,000 contract with Verdi in a press conference on April 26.
“I knew that when this [job] first became available, when AnnMarie resigned, I was like, ‘this is the job for me,’ ” said Verdi. “When I was at the University of Nebraska and the University of Kansas, Michigan was my state for recruiting.”
“We have a team here that did something special,” said Verdi. “I’m excited to work with them. There’s no reason why we can’t be competitive next year. We’re going to expect that.”
The decision to hire Verdi comes after former EMU coach AnnMarie Gilbert resigned on April 5, after leading the Eagles to a 94-64 record in her five years as head coach.
Verdi, the first male women’s basketball coach in EMU history, spent two years at Kansas, where he was a part of a 42-26 record in two seasons with the Jayhawks.
Prior to coaching at Kansas, Verdi also spent time as an assistant at the University of Nebraska, where in 2009-10, the Cornhuskers compiled a 32-2 record, Big 12 championships and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
“We are excited about having Tory Verdi leading our women’s basketball program into the future,” said EMU Director of Athletics Derrick Gragg in a press release on EMUeagles.com. “Tory is one of the most well-rounded assistant coaches I have encountered. Not only has he been an assistant at two Big 12 programs for women’s basketball who advanced to the ‘Sweet 16’ in recent years, he has also been an assistant in the WNBA and for a men’s college basketball program as well. He is known as an outstanding recruiter and has been involved with winning programs everywhere he has been.”
Verdi has become known for being an extremely strong recruiter during his time as women’s basketball coach.
At Kansas, Verdi helped recruit Asia Boyd in the 2011 recruiting class. At the time, Boyd was the 39th ranked recruit in the country and would become the highest rated player to commit to Kansas since 2004.
Verdi will bring a fast-paced offense and a relentless full-court press defense to the Eagles.
“We’re going to be fun to watch,” said Verdi. “We’re going to just outwork people. That’s something that we can control … defensively, we’re going to get after it. We’re going to try and get a ton of deflections and steals and go the other way. Our defense is going to make our offense.”Originally Published: 05/07/12 9:35pm