After Gill, Should Zenger Show Henrickson the Door As Well?
Bonnie Henrickson's teams have languished in mediocrity and low expectations for most of her seven seasons at Kansas, but with such a bright light focused on a powerhouse men's program, she has benefited from skulking about in the shadows. With all of the talk swirling around what many assume to be Turner Gill's second and final season at Kansas, a fair question that should be raised is whether or not Henrickson deserves the same fate.
Henrickson, like Gill, is an upstanding individual who can be counted on to run a clean program. However, like Gill, the performances of her teams have done little to impress Kansas fans overall. While those who support Henrickson may argue that she has had more competitive teams in comparison with theTurner's squads over the last couple of seasons (including an appearance in the WNIT title game in the 2008-09), they would certainly lose the argument about whether or not Bonnie has had enough time at Kansas to influence the direction of the program. Make no mistake, this is truly Bonnie's team and she has had the time on campus to have turned around the program if she were going to.
It would seem to me to be completely disingenuous for Zenger to fire Gill, which 70% of Kansas fans think should be done at season's end, and not at least visit the issue of Henrickson's performance as head coach. In 7 seasons at Virginia Tech, she led the Hokies to a 158-62 record, including 7 Post-season appearances. In every season, Virginia Tech won 20 or more games. Her resume at Kansas for an equal number of years shows Henrickson's record at 117-108, 5 post-season appearances and only 2 plus-20 win seasons. She has had difficulty getting the Jayhawks into the NCAA tournament, however, as just 2 of her post-season appearances were distinguished by this feat. Most of the wins that come the way of the Jayhawks are not in conference, a fact which drives a thorn into the flesh of any would-be women's fans. Quite simply, we are not in the discussion of competitive basketball programs in the Big 12.
It becomes a question of what the University values. Do they emphasize character development and running a clean program? Or do they value wins? Personally, I wish they could find coaches for both men's football and women's basketball that would do both.