Wash U makes coaching pick

More news about: Washington U.
Randi Henderson has spent two years coaching with her former roommate from the University of Iowa, Cara Consuegra, the head coach at UNC Charlotte. She spent nine years as head coach at Division III Coe. 
Charlotte athletics file photo

Washington U. has selected former Coe head coach Randi (Peterson) Henderson as its next head women's basketball coach. Henderson led the Kohawks to the NCAA Tournament twice over her nine year career before moving to an assistant position at D-I Charlotte for two seasons.

Henderson is the third women’s basketball coach in WashU program history. She replaces Nancy Fahey, who was named the head coach at the University of Illinois after leading the program to 737 wins and five national titles.

Henderson spent the past two years as the assistant women’s basketball coach at NCAA Division I Charlotte where she worked under head coach and college roommate Cara Consuegra. Henderson also spent nine years as head coach at Coe (2006-15) and one season at Minnesota-Morris (2005-06). Her career record as a Division III head coach is 171-101.

“Coach Henderson impressed us with her enthusiasm, basketball knowledge and experience in both Division III and Division I,” said Wash U. Athletics Director Chris Peacock. “We are excited to welcome her, (husband) Duez and (daughter) Harper Elsa into the WashU family.”

In her first season with the 49ers, Henderson made an immediate impact and helped guide Charlotte to a 19-11 record, a top-four Conference USA Championship ranking and one of the best offensive campaigns in program history. The 49ers topped the league in scoring (74.7 ppg) and field goal percentage (45.5), finishing among the Top-25 nationally in both categories. This past season Charlotte posted a 21-10 record and advanced to the Conference USA quarterfinals.

“I am extremely honored and excited to be joining the Washington University family. My family and I feel blessed to be a part of a university where the excellence of academics and athletics are the expectation,” said Henderson. “Washington University is one of the premier universities in the country. I am humbled to be working alongside such an elite group of coaches, staff, and faculty.”

Henderson joined the Niners after a nine-year stint as the head women’s basketball coach at Coe in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She also served as the department’s assistant athletic director and senior women’s administrator (SWA).

She led the Kohawks to the school’s only three 20-plus win seasons, including a school-record 26 on their way to the NCAA Tournamet sectional semifinals in 2010-11. Coe finished with a 14-2 mark in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) that season, sharing the league’s regular-season crown before picking up the tournament title.

It was one of six double-digit victory campaigns in conference play during Henderson’s tenure, including back-to-back seasons in 2013-14 and 2014-15. The Kohawks also tied for the regular-season championship in 2009-10, posting a 13-3 league ledger as part of a 19-8 overall season.

In 2011-12, Coe advanced to the NCAA second round after winning its second-straight IIAC tournament final and garnering a 21-8 record.

Her first time winning 20 games came in just her second season, 2007-08, when she engineered a 12-win turnaround from the previous year and vaulted the Kohawks to a third-place finish in the conference standings with a 20-8 mark. Coe advanced to the league tournament final for the first time in program history, while winning its first conference tournament game.

She received two IIAC Coach of the Year honors (2010, 2011) and a nod as the WBCA West Region Coach of the Year during her Coe career. Her overall record with the program was 155-91 (.630), the most wins by any head coach in school history. She also guided the Kohawks to a 90-48 (.652) ledger in conference action during her nine-year stint.

“I want to thank vice chancellor for students Lori White, athletic director Anthony Azama, and the great group on the search committee for believing in me and giving me this opportunity,” added Henderson. “I am excited to get to know each of the current and incoming student athletes, challenging their growth and development, and fighting alongside them to win championships. I also look forward to meeting the alumni, learning from their experiences, and continuing to build on the bright future they have laid out for the current student-athletes.”

Prior to arriving at Coe, Henderson spent one season at Minnesota-Morris where she earned UMAC Coach of the Year accolades. She directed the Cougars to a 16-10 record, including a 10-4 mark in league play to tie for second in the standings. She was an assistant at UMM for two years, 2003-04 and 2004-05, prior to her elevation to the head coaching post.

In June 2016, Henderson attended the Center for Coaching Excellence, a two-day elite leadership-training program sponsored by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association in Atlanta. She was selected among an exclusive national group of assistant coaches to attend the event.

“Chris Peacock, Sara Burton and the search committee’s dedication and hard work provided a tremendous list of finalists. I really appreciate the thorough vetting process which included the current team and select women's basketball alumni,” said Director of Athletics Anthony J. Azama. “Randi Henderson's success as both a high school and Division I student-athlete combined with her head coaching achievements prove she is a great teacher, developer and winner ready to lead this elite program."

A native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, she began her coaching career as a volunteer at Athens High School in Athens, Ohio, as a graduate teaching assistant.

Henderson played collegiately at Iowa, where she was a three-year starter and team captain for the Hawkeyes. She helped guide the Hawkeyes to a pair of NCAA Tournaments (1998, 2001) and the 2001 Big Ten tournament championship. Henderson concluded her career with 936 points and 745 rebounds, placing 11th on the school’s all-time list.

She graduated from Iowa in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in health, leisure and sport studies. Henderson received a master’s degree in recreation and sport sciences at Ohio University in 2003. She was named Iowa Miss Basketball in 1997.

Washington U. went 26-3 with a UAA conference title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament sectional semifinal. The Bears finished the season ranked No. 6 and have been ranked in the Top 25 every week dating back to January 19, 2009.