Bonnie Henrickson '86
Coaching in the cradle of college hoops
Bonnie Henrickson '86 has turned the cellar-dwelling Jayhawks into a rising program.
Bonnie Henrickson ’86 coaches basketball on the very campus where the greats of the game made their names. James Naismith, the inventor of the sport, Phog Allen, the father of basketball coaching, and Wilt Chamberlain, who once scored 100 points in a professional game, all made stops at the University of Kansas.
Henrickson is head coach for the Jayhawks' rising women's program.
She has helped Kansas advance to postseason play in seven of her nine seasons, including each of the last six years, highlighted by back-to-back NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 runs.
In the 2009, Henrickson took the Jayhawks to the title game of the Women's National Invitation Tournament. A year later she helped the Jayhawks earn their first national ranking in a decade. Henrickson guided Kansas to a 21-13 record during the 2011-12 season and NCAA Tournament victories over Nebraska (57-49) and Delaware (70-64), before falling to Tennessee in the Sweet 16.
In 2005-06, her team set a program record for consecutive victories, earned the first post-season appearance since 2000 and broke a 36-game drought against ranked opponents by defeating No. 23 Texas.
Winning is a consistent theme across more than two decades of playing and coaching. As a four-year player at St. Cloud State, Henrickson helped her team compile a 97-25 record, including a 31-4 mark her sophomore season. She was a two-time team captain and three-time all-conference pick.
"People always ask me if I could do it differently if I'd choose to play Division I over D-II. Absolutely not. St. Cloud State was the best thing for me. It gave me unbelievable perspective," Henrickson said in a St. Cloud Times interview.
Her coaching positions include successful stints with Virginia Tech, USA Basketball and Iowa. Her head-coaching resume includes five NCAA postseason appearances and the 2005 Carol Eckman Award, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association honor for coaches who model attributes such as sportsmanship, honesty and courage.
The Willmar, Minnesota native earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education at the University. She was inducted into the St. Cloud State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Hall of Fame in 2012.