Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sources: Marianne Stanley May Join Stringer At Rutgers

By Mel Greenberg

SPRINGFIELD, Mass _
As Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction weekend activities kicked off here with Thursday night’s reunion and awards dinner, a buzz seeped into the hotel ballroom lobby that the number of Women’s Basketball Hall of Famers on the Rutgers staff is about to double.

A knowledgeable source with past ties to the Scarlet Knights indicated current New York Liberty assistant coach Marianne Stanley in the WNBA is involved with the assistant coaching position to C.Vivian Stringer that was left vacant when Sue Wicks took the top assistant job at St. Francis University in New York.

The source’s comment coincided with a “guessing game” being conducted on a Rutgers fan site earlier Thursday on the internet that offered “Mighty Macs” as a clue.

The official Rutgers athletic web site did not contain any news of a potential hire late Thursday night nor did Friday’s edition of the Daily Targum, the university’s student paper.

Several of the Guru’s sources, who might have information, could not be reached from here after Stanley’s name dropped into the discussion in the early evening.

Stanley, who coached Old Dominion to three national titles, is a former All-American at Immaculata during the Mighty Macs’ national championship era in the early 1970s when Stringer was building her first powerhouse at nearby Cheyney State.

Stringer and Stanley are both members of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., and know each other well from their ties to Philadelphia and involvement with USA Basketball programs.

Stanley also coached at Penn, Southern Cal and California while also serving a one-year co-coach status with Amy Tucker at Stanford in 1995-96 when Tara VanDerveer was heading the USA Basketball Senior Women’s National Team’s run to an Olympic gold medal at the games in Atlanta. The Cardinal reached the Final Four that same season and lost to Georgia in the semifinals.

Stanley’s WNBA background includes an assistant coaching stint with the Los Angeles Sparks followed by a two-year run as head coach of the Washington Mystics. She then became an assistant to Pat Coyle with the Liberty two summers ago when Coyle was promoted to replace Richie Adubato early in the season.

The Liberty had their worst-ever record in the ten-year history of the franchise this past season but there had not been any indication to date of personnel moves by the organization.

Stanley’s venture across the Hudson River to New Jersey would be a way back to the collegiate world with a team that could end up in contention for a national title, even though Cappie Pondexter has graduated to the WNBA.

-- Mel

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