ST. LOUIS - Former University of Wisconsin head coach Lisa Stone, who has amassed a 503-237 record in 26 years as a collegiate head coach, has been named head women's basketball coach at Saint Louis University. Stone is the seventh head coach in Billiken women's basketball history.
Most recently, Stone served eight seasons (2003-11) in charge at Wisconsin. She had a three-year tenure at Drake, spent 12 seasons at Wisconsin-Eau Claire and began her head-coaching career with a three-year stint at Cornell (Iowa) College.
"We are thrilled to have Lisa and her family join the Saint Louis University community," Director of Athletics Chris May said. "Her successful career, which includes a commitment to academic success and winning at every level, speaks for itself.
"It is an exciting time for the Billikens as we welcome Lisa to SLU to lead the women's basketball program in educating student-athletes, competing for championships and building community," May said. "Lisa's arrival, combined with SLU's educational excellence, state-of-the-art facilities in Chaifetz Arena, the competitive Atlantic 10 Conference and a fertile recruiting base, makes SLU women's basketball poised for success."
"I am excited to join the Billiken family," Stone said. "I wish to thank (SLU President) Father Lawrence Biondi, (Vice President for Student Development) Dr. Kent Porterfield, Chris May and (Associate Director of Athletics) Janet Oberle for their hard work during the process.
"Saint Louis University has an outstanding commitment to excellence, and I am thrilled to be part of an institution that strongly encourages its student-athletes to lead, learn and serve," Stone said. "The University offers academic prestige, outstanding facilities and a beautiful campus, plus an opportunity to compete in the very strong Atlantic 10 Conference. I can't wait to meet the players, and I am looking forward to getting started as soon as possible."
A native of Oregon, Wis., Stone guided Wisconsin to five postseason appearances, two 20-win campaigns and a 128-119 record that included a 95-68 mark in her final five seasons. In her fourth season (2006-07), the Badgers won a school-record 23 games (23-13) and finished second in the WNIT.
Following WNIT appearances the next two seasons, Wisconsin's 2009-10 squad posted a 21-11 record, tied for third in the Big Ten Conference and earned an NCAA Tournament bid. Stone was rewarded by being named Big Ten Coach of the Year. The Badgers again tied for third in the Big Ten in 2010-11 and participated in the WNIT.
Wisconsin also excelled academically with Stone at the helm. Twenty-one players combined to earn 42 Academic All-Big Ten nods during her tenure.
Stone's 64-27 record at Drake included a 42-12 Missouri Valley Conference ledger. She led the Bulldogs to a 23-7 record, an MVC regular-season co-championship and an NCAA Tournament berth in her first season (2000-01). Stone, whose 23 victories were the most by a first-year MVC women's basketball coach, was tabbed the league's Coach of the Year. The following season, Stone's team went 25-8, achieved a No. 20 national ranking and reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
The Drake program also flourished in the classroom under Stone's leadership. The 2000-01 Bulldogs were ranked sixth on the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Academic Top 25 Honor Roll, and the 2001-02 team garnered a No. 15 ranking on the prestigious list.
At NCAA Division III Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Stone turned around a program that had registered just one winning record prior to her arrival. Her teams tallied a 277-59 mark (159-33 in conference play), turned in 11 20-win seasons, reached the NCAA Tournament 11 times and captured six league crowns. Stone's 1996-97 squad was the national runner-up, and her 1993-94 team finished third in the nation.
When Stone was named head coach at Division III Cornell College at age 21 in 1985, she was the nation's youngest head basketball coach at a four-year institution. She collected a 34-32 record at Cornell and led the Rams to the Midwest Conference's Southern Division title in each of her three years.
In addition to her collegiate coaching experience, Stone was a head coach in the 2001 WBCA All-Star Game as well as an assistant coach for gold-medal-winning Team USA at the 2002 World Championships for Young Women Qualifying Tournament in Brazil.
Stone holds a bachelor's degree in physical education (1984) and a master's degree in athletic administration (1986), both from the University of Iowa. A four-year standout at point guard under legendary head coach C. Vivian Stringer, she is 25th in points (1,129), tied for ninth in steals (177) and 11th in assists (322) on the Iowa career charts. Stone also owns a share of the Hawkeyes' record for steals in a game (nine).
Stone was a three-time team captain and a two-time Hawkeye Most Valuable Player. As a senior, she won the Big Ten Medal of Honor as one of the top scholar-athletes in the conference and also captured the Iowa Student-Athlete of the Year award.
Stone and her husband, Ed, a certified public accountant, are the parents of a daughter, Allison (20), and a son, Tyler (16).
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT LISA STONE
"I've known Lisa Stone for quite some time, as a player at Iowa and for many years as a coach. She has always been a strong leader, as well as someone who constantly seeks knowledge and who is always open to new ideas. Her tremendous enthusiasm and her ability to coach and motivate will be a perfect fit for Saint Louis women's basketball. I'm looking forward to following the success of the program in the years to come."
- C. Vivian Stringer, head women's basketball coach, Rutgers University
"Lisa is one of the best people I have ever met in the business. She is a high-energy individual who really teaches the game very well. This is a home-run hire for SLU women's basketball and the entire University community."
- Bill Fennelly, head women's basketball coach, Iowa State University
"Lisa Stone is a tremendous teacher of the game of basketball. Her ability to instantly transform a program with a defensive commitment is one of the best in the business. Her teams are mentally tough and compete night in and night out. Lisa's enthusiasm and passion for the game transcends to the recruiting trails. Her Midwest ties and contacts will be an asset to Saint Louis University. They could not have made a better choice in hiring Lisa Stone."
- Suzy Merchant, head women's basketball coach, Michigan State University
"The hiring of Lisa Stone is a fantastic addition to the Saint Louis University women's basketball program and the entire athletic department. She is an energetic, passionate, caring human being with a great personality, and she transfers those characteristics
into being a great basketball coach and mentor. She is a strong recruiter who knows how to build relationships, and she puts it all together on the basketball floor."
- Sharon Versyp, head women's basketball coach, Purdue University
"In hiring Lisa Stone, Saint Louis is adding a hard worker who really knows the game of basketball. Lisa is a very good teacher of the game, but she is always looking to learn more. She has the ability to highly motivate her players, and she really cares about their development on and off the court. Overall, she has built her record because she is dedicated to the game and to helping her student-athletes."
- Bo Ryan, head men's basketball coach, University of Wisconsin