Atop Courtney Banghart’s office bookcase is not only a series of reading materials, but also a collection of shoes that would make almost any sneakerhead jealous. The North Carolina girls’ basketball coach has chosen to spice up her office with a line of rare Jordan-branded shoes, including the recently released Retro 1, 3, 4, 5, 11 and 35. .
Also on its shelf are several books on legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, “A Coach’s Life” by Dean Smith and Jay Bilas’ memoir on toughness.
– Courtney Banghart (@CoachBanghart) May 27, 2021
Banghart’s electric character has caught the attention of several major rookies since replacing Sylvia Hatchell in 2019. After recruiting a five-member 2020 recruiting class that ranked No. 11 in the country when it first opened offseason, Banghart signed one of the best UNC classes in recent history in 2021.
The UNC 2021 signed class is made up of four of the top 20 players – Teonni Key (No.9), Kayla McPherson (No.17), Morasha Wiggins (No.18) and Destiny Adams (No.20). The class ranks # 2 in the nation, according to ESPN rankings, and gave the Tar Heels their first top five in the recruiting ranks since 2013.
Key, a five-star wing from Cary, NC, admitted that the new energy Banghart brought to Chapel Hill made UNC an easy choice.
“What stood out to me the most was how she brought the UNC women’s basketball program back to life.” Key told the Daily Tar Heel. âSince living so close, I’ve been there for a long time, and to see that it’s going in the right direction is really great. His vision for the future is also amazing.
UNC fans are hopeful that Banghart’s success on the recruiting trail translates into more wins next season. After a 16-14 record in his first year as a head coach, Banghart led the Tar Heels to a disappointing 13-11 record and an NCAA tournament exit in the first round in the second year.
Carolina hasn’t won more than 20 games in a season since going 26-9 in 2014-15.
Prior to coming to UNC, Banghart coached the Princeton Tigers, leading to five Ivy League championships from 2010 to 2015. In the final year of that race, she was named the Naismith National Coach of the Year and has led Princeton to its first-ever NCAA tournament victory with a win over Green Bay.
A college graduate in neuroscience, Banghart also played on the Ivy League’s Dartmouth Big Green basketball court from 1996-2000. She holds program records for three points in one game, one season and one. career.
In 2003, Banghart returned to Dartmouth as an assistant coach until she took the lead role in 2007. During this time, she earned a Masters in Writing and Leadership Development.