Immaculata University’s Legendary Players, Theresa Grentz ’74 and Marianne Stanley ’76, Inducted Into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
On Saturday, September 10, Theresa Shank Grentz ’74 and Marianne Crawford Stanley ’76, will be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the Class of 2022. Stanley is being inducted in the coaching category and Grentz in the Direct-Elect Category: Women Veterans Committee Nominations.
Others from the Class of 2022 include two-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA champion Manu Ginobili; five-time NBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist Tim Hardaway; two-time NCAA National Coach of the Year Bob Huggins; the NBA’s sixth-winningest coach of all-time George Karl and international professional basketball player Radivoj Korac.
Born in Yeadon, Pennsylvania, Stanley played high school basketball at Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. When she arrived at Immaculata, she played guard for the Mighty Macs and won two national titles with the teams in 1973 and 1974. She was named an All American in 1975 and 1976. After graduating from Immaculata, she accepted the women’s head coaching position at Old Dominion, where she led the team to two Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national championships and the 1985 NCAA national championship. During her historic coaching career, Stanley coached at Penn, USC, Stanford and California before joining the WNBA’s L.A. Sparks. Stanley rotated between collegiate and professional coaching, later joining the WNBA’s New York Liberty and Washington Mystics, where she coached the Mystics to the Eastern Conference Finals and earned Coach of the Year in 2002 and won a national title as assistant coach in 2019. Most recently, she had served as the head coach of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever.
Stanley is a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, class of 2002 and received the Joe Lapchick Character Award in 2016.
A native of Glenolden, Pennsylvania, Theresa Grentz played at Cardinal O’Hara High School, leading her team to three Philadelphia Catholic and City League titles. At Immaculata, where she majored in biology with a minor in chemistry, Grentz played on all three Immaculata women’s national championship squads. She was a three time All-American and in 1974, she was named to the U.S. national team in the World Basketball Championship Games.
Grentz’s coaching career began shortly after she graduated from Immaculata, when she was hired as the part-time head women’s basketball coach at St. Joseph’s University. After guiding the university’s Hawks to two winning seasons, Grentz was hired at Rutgers, becoming the first Division I full-time women’s basketball head coach in the nation. She spent 19 years at Rutgers, where she coached the Scarlet Knights to nine NCAA Tournament appearances and to the 1982 AIAW national championship title.
In 1995, Grentz became the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Illinois winning the school’s only Big Ten title in women’s basketball in 1997. She earned Big Ten Coach of the Year and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) District Coach of the Year in 1997 and 1998. During her time at Illinois, she also was named the 1992 U.S. Olympic team’s coach.
Grentz was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001, received the WBCA Carol Eckman Award, and was named Female Athlete of the Millennium by the Delaware County Daily Times in 1999. Grentz also served as president of the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association for two years. At the time of her retirement, she was the tenth winningest Division I women’s basketball coach in history.
“On behalf of the faculty, staff and students of Immaculata University, we congratulate Marianne and Theresa on this special honor. A quick review of their accomplishments more than suggests that they are most deserving,” states Immaculata President Barbara Lettiere ’72.