UCSB went for experience in choosing Bonnie Henrickson to lead the Gaucho women’s basketball team. Henrickson has spent 18 years as a head coach, the last 11 at the University of Kansas.
She led the Jayhawks to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Sweet 16 (2012, 2013) but was fired after finishing 15-17 this past season. Prior to KU, where she had seven winning seasons, Henrickson turned around a losing Virginia Tech program and took the Hokies to a Sweet 16 in her second year. Her overall head coaching record is 344-233.
When she was introduced as UCSB’s new head coach last week, Henrickson cited the team’s past success – an average of 25 wins a season in the decade 1996-2005 – as a blueprint for the future. Carlene Mitchell, a longtime Rutgers assistant when she took the UCSB head coaching job in 2011, was fired last month after the Gaucho women went 2-27, their worst season record in history.