Coach Connie Yori continues to lead the Nebraska women's basketball program in an exciting phase of sustained growth as she enters her 14th year in Lincoln in 2015-16. The 2013 and 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Yori has guided the Huskers to four consecutive NCAA Tournament, while averaging 24 victories per year over the last four seasons.
In 2014-15, the Huskers overcame a barrage of injuries, including a season-ending injury to All-America point guard Rachel Theriot in early February, to advance to the NCAA Tournament and finish with a 21-11 overall record. The Huskers also went 10-8 in the Big Ten, becoming the only conference team to post winning conference records in each of the last four seasons.
Although Nebraska has achieved sustained success both on the court, in the classroom, in the community and on the recruiting trail, Yori is still looking to the future.
"We believe we are still in the growth stage in our program. That is part of what makes it exciting and fun to come to work every day. We have improved, but we are really focused on getting better every single day."
Despite the challenges, Nebraska extended its school-record streak of 43 consecutive weeks in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25, before slipping from the poll on March 2, 2015. The Huskers, who spent 17 weeks in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25 in 2014-15, ranked 11th nationally in average home attendance. The Huskers averaged nearly 6,500 fans per Big Ten home game in 2014-15 and more than 6,000 fans per game for the second straight season at the new arena.
Nebraska's four senior starters - Emily Cady, Brandi Jeffery, Tear'a Laudermill and Hailie Sample - became the most successful class in history. Not only did they become the first set of Huskers to play in four straight NCAA tournaments, they also set the school record with 96 wins in their careers while becoming the first class to post four consecutive 20-win campaigns.
NU's 2014-15 campaign followed on the heels of a 26-7 season in 2013-14 that included the school's first Big Ten Tournament title. The 2013-14 Huskers added, who included first-team All-American and Big Ten Player-of-the-Year Jordan Hooper, finished with the second-best winning percentage (.788) in school history.
The 2013-14 Huskers finished with the second-best final national rankings in school history at No. 13 in the Associated Press and No. 17 in the USA Today Coaches Top 25. It was NU's fourth final top-25 national ranking in the past six years. Before Yori's arrival at Nebraska in 2002, no Husker team had ever finished a season in the top 25.
Nebraska also finished No. 19 in the NCAA RPI, before claiming a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament - its second-highest seed in school history, trailing only the No. 1 seed the Huskers captured in 2010.
Nebraska ranked No. 11 nationally in average home attendance in their first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena, while ranking No. 8 in total attendance. More than 110,000 watched the Huskers match the school record with 16 home wins in Lincoln in 2013-14. The Huskers also hosted the NCAA Lincoln Regional at the new arena, bringing NCAA Tournament games to Lincoln for the first time since 1993.
Nebraska finished with a 12-4 Big Ten mark for the second straight year, while playing for a share of the Big Ten title on the final day of the regular season for the second consecutive season.
A finalist for the Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy and Senior CLASS Award, Hooper set Nebraska's school record with 295 threes, while finishing second in school history in points (2,357) and No. 3 in rebounds (1,110). Hooper's 40 career double-doubles also tied 2010 Husker All-America Kelsey Griffin's school record.
Hooper was the No. 13 overall pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft by the Tulsa Shock. It marked the second straight season and the third time in the past six years that Nebraska had produced a top-15 pick in the draft, joining Griffin (No. 3, 2010) and Lindsey Moore (No. 12, 2013).
The 6-2 forward from Alliance, who was a two-time Nebraska High School Player of the Year, was the catalyst for the most successful three-year stretch in school history.
Hooper led one of the most impressive team hardware hauls in Husker history. She claimed her third consecutive first-team All-Big Ten award, while Theriot added first-team All-Big Ten honors. Theriot, who shattered the school single-season record with 234 assists and captured Big Ten Tournament MVP honors, joined Hooper on the Big Ten All-Tournament team. Theriot's 18 assists in a Big Ten quarterfinal win over Minnesota were the most ever by a Big Ten player against a Big Ten opponent.
Theriot also claimed honorable-mention All-America accolades from the Associated Press, giving Nebraska a pair of All-Americans for the second straight year.
Cady and Laudermill added second-team all-conference honors, while Sample added a spot on the Big Ten All-Defensive Team. Cady, who earned second-team honors again in 2014-15, and Laudermill, who contributed honorable-mention All-Big Ten accolades, continued Nebraska's conference success under Yori.
Over the past 13 seasons, Huskers have earned 39 all-conference awards, including 12 first-team, five second-team, 12 honorable-mention, five all-freshman and five all-defensive accolades.
Yori's Huskers also have claimed six All-America awards over the past six seasons, including first-team WBCA honors for Hooper (2014) and Griffin (2010) and honorable-mention awards for Hooper (2012, 2013), Theriot (2014) and Moore (2013). In the first 35 seasons of Nebraska women's basketball, Huskers had claimed only eight All-America awards.
It is no surprise that great players have created great success. Over the past six years, Nebraska has averaged nearly 24 wins per season. In the previous 35 seasons, no Husker team had won more than 23 games.
Yori has helped the Huskers raise the bar by landing some of the nation's best recruits, while keeping the state's top players at home. That trend continues in 2015-16, as the Huskers welcome the best class in school history for the second straight year. NU's 2015-16 freshmen were ranked as the No. 8 class nationally by ESPN, and include the most heralded high school player in the history of the state of Nebraska - Jess Shepard.
A two-time Nebraska Gatorade High School Player of the Year (2013, 2014), Shepard was ranked as the No. 1 post player coming out of high school by ESPN. A starter on the USA Basketball U18 National Team at the FIBA Americas Championship in the summer of 2014, Shepard ranked among the most productive scorers and rebounders in Nebraska prep history, despite missing more than half of her senior season at Fremont High School with a knee injury.
The 6-4 Shepard, who committed to Nebraska before her freshman year at Lincoln Southeast High School in 2011-12, is joined in NU's 2015-16 freshman class by 2015 Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year Maddie Simon from Lincoln Pius X. Simon, an athletic 6-2 guard, was a multi-sport star at Pius X, as one of the top hurdlers in the state.
The duo of Nebraskans is joined by Kansas prep player Rachel Blackburn from Leavenworth, who also ranked among the top 25 prep post players in the nation.
The Huskers' 2015-16 freshman class followed a 2014-15 freshman group that ranked No. 9 nationally by ESPN. Natalie Romeo (California) made an immediate impact for the Huskers, starting late in the season in place of the injured Theriot. Chandler Smith (Washington) and Jasmine Cincore (Tennessee) also played significant roles throughout the season, despite battling injuries along with Romeo. Junior college All-American Anya Kalenta (Belarus) also was challenged by injuries in her first year at Nebraska, while post player Darrien Washington (California) used a redshirt season to improve her game. Walk-on Emily Wood (Kansas) played a valuable role both in practice and in games to earn the respect of Husker players, coaches and fans in her first season.
"We believe that the success level of our team has improved because we have focused on bringing in the highest quality of student-athlete," Yori said. "Obviously, we want talented basketball players with great skill levels and knowledge of the game, but we also want great students who want to become great people after their careers are over."
That has shown with Nebraska's 100 percent graduate rate for women's basketball. In fact, each of Yori's NCAA Tournament teams have earned national recognition for their perfect graduation rate. In fact, Nebraska is one of just eight programs nationally to produce a 100 percent graduation rate while advancing to each of the last four NCAA tournaments.
The Huskers have also continued to demonstrate unsurpassed community involvement. Since the inception of Nebraska's Life Skills Team Award presented to the school's most committed team in the area of outreach, Yori's team has finished among the top programs all 12 years while winning the Life Skills Team Award on two occasions.
In 2014 and 2015, every Husker on the roster earned a spot on the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team, which requires the completion of at least six community service projects during the academic year.
Nebraska's all-around success is demonstrated with Griffin's 2010 Senior CLASS Award and Hooper's 2014 Senior CLASS First-Team All-America award. Griffin, who was the 2010 Nebraska Student-Athlete of the Year, was also a finalist for the V Foundation Comeback Award.
In 2012-13, Yori led Nebraska to the program's second trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 in the past four years. A roster that featured just two seniors rolled to the third-most wins in school history (25), while notching the second-highest conference victory total (12) in the Husker record books. From mid-January through February, Yori's Huskers reeled off 10 consecutive Big Ten wins on their way to a conference regular-season runner-up finish (12-4).
In the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the No. 6 seed Huskers snapped Southern Conference champion Chattanooga's 19-game winning streak in the first round before knocking off No. 3 seed and SEC Tournament champion Texas A&M in College Station, 74-63. NU's tournament run came to an end in a 53-45 loss to No. 2 seed Duke at Old Dominion.
Nebraska's late-season surge pushed the Huskers to No. 18 in the final USA Today/Coaches Top 25 and No. 24 in the AP Poll. NU's 25-9 record came against one of the nation's best schedules and one of the strongest in school history. The Huskers entered the NCAA Tournament at No. 16 in the NCAA RPI and carried the No. 12 Strength of Schedule in the country, according to RealTimeRPI.com.
Nebraska fans came out in droves to support their beloved Huskers, averaging 5,243 fans to rank among the top 20 teams in the nation. NU averaged 6,586 fans per Big Ten home game, including 10,832 as the Huskers bid farewell on March 3, 2013, to the Bob Devaney Sports Center - the home of Nebraska women's basketball since 1976.
Moore was the leader of the Huskers in 2012-13, capping her senior season as AP honorable-mention All-American before being chosen with the No. 12 pick by the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA Draft. She went on to win the 2013 WNBA title in her first season with the Lynx.
Moore, who was a two-time finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award presented to the nation's top point guard, joined Hooper as a candidate for the Wade, Naismith and Wooden national player-of-the-year awards in 2012-13. They became the first Husker duo on national player-of-the-year watch lists in the same season, while becoming the first pair of Huskers to earn All-America honors in the same season.
Hooper also earned first-team All-Big Ten honors, while Moore was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team for the second consecutive season. Hooper and Moore, a second-team All-Big Ten choice for the second time, were joined on the All-Big Ten team by Cady. The 6-2 forward earned honorable mention from the league writers for the second time. Theriot added a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team.
Nebraska's 2012-13 success followed a breakthrough 2011-12 year. In their first season in the Big Ten, Yori's young Huskers battled their way to a 24-9 record and a 10-6 Big Ten mark. They fought their way to the Big Ten Tournament title game in their first-ever appearance and earned a No. 6 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Injuries to Hooper, Cady and Sample stalled a potential tournament run, but the Huskers still finished No. 17 in the final AP rankings.
Cady and Sample made Husker history in 2011-12, becoming the first freshman duo to start every game for Nebraska. In fact, with Cady and Sample leading the way, Nebraska's freshmen played the most minutes of any freshman class in the Big Ten.
Nebraska's recent success on the court dates to a magical breakthrough season for the Husker program in 2009-10. Yori guided the Big Red to the best season in school history, leading the Huskers to the Big 12 Conference regular-season title. Along the way, NU tied the Big 12 record with a 30-game winning streak and became the first team in league history to post an unbeaten regular season (29-0). The Huskers, who finished 32-2, became just the second team in conference history to go a perfect 16-0 in regular-season league play.
Yori engineered Nebraska's rise to its highest national ranking in school history, climbing as high as No. 3 in the national polls. Prior to 2009-10, Nebraska had never been in the top 10, but spent nine straight weeks in the top 10 to end the season, after beginning the year unranked.
Yori's Huskers captured the school's first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the program's first NCAA Sweet 16, before finishing No. 4 in the official NCAA RPI. NU also finished No. 4 in the AP Poll and No. 7 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25.
Yori, who earned national coach-of-the-year honors from the WBCA, AP, USBWA, the Naismith Trophy and the inaugural Kay Yow Award, led the Huskers to the biggest single-season turnaround in the nation in 2009-10. Nebraska improved 17 games in the win column after advancing to the postseason in 2008-09.
The Huskers, who were the preseason pick to finish sixth in the Big 12 by league coaches, went undefeated in the nation's No. 1 RPI conference and Yori captured Big 12 Coach-of-the-Year honors.
Bolstered by the return of first-team All-American and 2010 Big 12 Player-of-the-Year Kelsey Griffin, the Huskers were dominant. In addition to Griffin winning Big 12 Player-of-the-Year honors after claiming a first-team All-Big 12 award for the third time, Cory Montgomery and Yvonne Turner earned first-team All-Big 12 honors. Turner was named the Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year, while Griffin joined Turner on the All-Big 12 Defensive Team. Dominique Kelley added honorable-mention All-Big 12 accolades, while Moore was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team after starting every game.
Griffin has continued her WNBA career with the Sun into the 2015 season, while also spending professional seasons in Hungary, Israel and most recently, three extremely successful seasons in Australia. She was joined in Australia in 2013 by Montgomery, while Turner continues to play professionally overseas. Turner also signed training camp contracts with the San Antonio Silver Stars (2013) and Chicago Sky (2014).
In addition to Nebraska's incredible rise to prominence on the national scene in 2009-10, the Huskers became a marquee attraction across the Midwest. Nebraska led the Big 12 by averaging 11,383 fans over eight league home games, while shattering the school attendance records. NU ranked No. 7 nationally with 7,390 fans per game, while drawing seven consecutive crowds of more than 10,000 to close the season. That record streak included the school's first capacity crowd of 13,595 at the Devaney Center for a win over Missouri on Feb. 27, which included a Big 12 regular-season title presentation and the cutting down of the nets at the Devaney Center for the first time since 1988.
Although Nebraska's meteoric rise on the national landscape seemed like an overnight success with national headlines in USA Today, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and unprecedented exposure from ESPN, the Huskers' climb was anything but a quick fix. Instead, Yori spent eight years building Nebraska brick-by-brick with painstaking detail into a force to be reckoned with on the national levels.
Yori's success at Nebraska has come as a result of her commitment to helping student-athletes have outstanding all-around collegiate experiences on the court, in the classroom and in the community. Yori's approach involves creating an atmosphere of terrific team chemistry with players and coaches who genuinely care about each other.
When Yori first arrived at Nebraska in the summer of 2002, the Huskers were coming off back-to-back losing seasons. Left with just a handful of healthy, scholarship players, Nebraska struggled to an 8-20 overall mark and a 1-15 Big 12 record. Through steady recruiting and a commitment to helping her student-athletes improve on and off the court, the Huskers have found a recipe for success.
Even before its breakthrough 2009-10 campaign, the Huskers had earned six consecutive postseason tournament appearances, including back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2007 and 2008. NU's 2008 NCAA appearance included the school's third-ever NCAA Tournament victory with a first-round win over Xavier, before taking No. 1 national seed Maryland to the limit on the Terrapins' home court in the second round.
In 2008-09, Nebraska battled its way to a Postseason WNIT bid despite losing Griffin to an ankle injury before the season began. The Huskers were dealt a further blow inside with the loss of center Nikki Bober, just days after helping the Huskers to a win over No. 24 Arizona State at the Devaney Center on Dec. 28. The Sun Devils went on to advance to the 2009 NCAA Elite Eight.
The Huskers, who finished the year with a 15-16 overall record and a 6-10 Big 12 mark, tied for seventh in the nation's strongest conference. The Big 12 sent six teams to the NCAA Tournament and three more to the WNIT. The 2008-09 Huskers notched top-25 wins over Arizona State and Kansas State, while playing 19 games against 2009 postseason tournament qualifiers despite a starting that regularly did not include a senior.
In Griffin's absence, Montgomery and Turner emerged as rising stars in the Big 12, setting up Nebraska's storybook season in 2009-10 with the return of Griffin.
In 2007-08, Yori guided Nebraska to one of its best seasons, as the Huskers claimed their third NCAA Tournament victory in history with a 61-58 win over Xavier in College Park, Md.
Along with leading Nebraska to its first NCAA Tournament win in a decade, Yori helped the Huskers to their first back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances since the 1999 and 2000 seasons, while posting back-to-back 20-win campaigns for the first time since 1998 and 1999.
In 2007-08, Yori's Huskers finished with a 21-12 record despite a 13-player roster that featured five true freshmen, five sophomores and one junior college transfer. Griffin, an All-Big 12 forward, was the only Husker to ever start a game in an NU uniform heading into the 2007-08 campaign.
Along with their youth, the Huskers faced the challenge of playing 24 of their 33 games against 2008 postseason tournament teams, including 16 against NCAA Tournament teams. Nebraska's strength of schedule ranked No. 24 nationally heading into postseason play.
Despite their youth and imposing schedule, the Huskers finished with a 9-7 Big 12 mark in a league that sent 11 teams to the postseason, including eight that won first-round NCAA Tournament games.
NU's rise on the conference and national levels has been remarkable considering Yori's starting point. She set out to establish a winning tradition at Nebraska after she was hired on June 24, 2002.
When she arrived in 2002, the Huskers were coming off back-to-back losing seasons and the program was left with just five scholarship players for most of the season.
But Yori was also confident that Nebraska's resources, coupled with her coaching knowledge and ability to develop strong personal relationships with players, would lead NU to future success.
Yori's 2002-03 club struggled to an 8-20 record, but her first recruiting class made an immediate impact in her second season.
The 2003-04 squad featured four returning senior starters and made one of the largest improvements in NCAA Division I basketball by finishing with an 18-12 record, despite playing 19 games against 2004 postseason clubs.
Along with a win over No. 13 Ohio State, the Huskers notched one of the biggest wins in school history with an 81-63 victory over No. 9 Kansas State on Jan. 24. The win came in front of a national television audience on Fox Sports Net and marked the highest-ranked team the Huskers had ever defeated at the Devaney Center. NU added a 7-9 Big 12 mark and may have finished just one win shy of the school's first NCAA Tournament bid since 2000. NU finished in a three-way tie for seventh in a league that sent nine teams to the postseason, including the Huskers.
Nebraska made a trip to the 2004 Postseason WNIT and played two home games in the tournament. NU's 73-60 first-round win over Drake was its first postseason victory since 1998 and the first home postseason win since 1993.
Along with amazing improvement on the court, the Huskers made major strides in the classroom and community.
The Huskers made history in 2003-04 by becoming the athletic department's first winner of the Life Skills Award of Excellence. The award was presented to the team that showed the greatest overall commitment to Nebraska's community outreach program, an impressive accomplishment considering Nebraska's overall Life Skills program has been named the best in the nation.
Although NU had to replace four senior starters in 2003-04, the 2004-05 squad continued the program's climb.
Nebraska grabbed national headlines and made school history on Jan. 12, 2005, by knocking off then-No. 2 Baylor, 103-99 in triple overtime at the Devaney Center. Not only did the Huskers outlast the eventual national champion Bears in the longest game in Big 12 history, they also posted a win over the highest-ranked team in school history.
The Huskers finished with an 8-8 Big 12 to finish in the top six in the nation's toughest conference for the first time since 1999-2000. The Huskers advanced to the postseason for the second straight year with a trip to the 2005 Postseason WNIT.
Nebraska finished 2004-05 with an 18-14 record despite playing 11 games against top 25 foes. Along with the win over No. 2 Baylor, NU defeated No. 14 Iowa State 88-59 on Feb. 12 in Lincoln, to give NU its largest victory margin in history over a top-25 opponent.
Hardy's rise along with the addition of 2005 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Jelena Spiric and the leadership of Chelsea Aubry gave NU high hopes for 2005-06. Those hopes were tempered the first week of fall practice by the loss of Spiric to a season-ending knee injury.
Despite the setback, NU battled to a 19-13 overall record, including an 8-8 Big 12 mark, and advanced to a third straight Postseason WNIT.
The Huskers closed the season as one of the Big 12's hottest teams, winning seven of their last 10 games including a trip to the WNIT quarterfinals, despite a late-season illness to freshman phenom Kelsey Griffin. NU's strong finish came while establishing a measure of dominance against Big 12 North competition. Nebraska went 5-0 in rematches with North Division opponents in 2005-06, and finished the year with a 7-3 mark against North schools, before adding a victory against Colorado in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament.
The Huskers defeated Colorado three times in the same season for the first time in school history after recording their first regular-season sweep of the Buffaloes in 21 years. NU also ended a 20-year losing streak at Boulder.
Nebraska's rise to the upper echelon in the Big 12 continued in 2006-07. The Huskers finished with a 22-10 overall record that included a 10-6 league mark. NU earned a first-round bye in the Big 12 Tournament by finishing in a tie for fourth in the league standings.
Hardy led the Huskers in 2006-07 by capturing her third straight first-team All-Big 12 award before being selected in the third round of the WNBA Draft by the Connecticut Sun. A WBCA Region 5 All-American, Hardy became the second Husker in history to be drafted by the WNBA. She also earned her bachelor's degree from Nebraska the day before hitting the game-winning shot in her professional exhibition debut.
Griffin joined Hardy in capturing first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2006-07, becoming the fourth Husker to earn first-team all-league honors as a sophomore. Griffin was a first-team academic All-Big 12 pick and a member of the Big 12 Winter Good Works Team.
Aubry, a captain and member of the Canadian Senior National Team who eventually became Nebraska's first Olympian in 2012, added honorable-mention All-Big 12 recognition as a senior. She also earned academic All-Big 12 honors and served on Nebraska's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee with Griffin.
Nebraska's rise has followed continued recruiting success. Yori's first group of recruits included Hardy and Aubry. Yori's second group included Danielle Page, who spent the 2008 WNBA season with the Connecticut Sun. Page is set to enter her eighth professional season overseas in 2015-16, while also competing with the Serbian National Team for the first time in 2015.
Yori's third class included Griffin, who became the second player in school history with more than 2,000 points and 1,000 career rebounds.
Yori's fourth class was her largest and most accomplished, including WBCA All-American and Miss Nebraska Basketball Yvonne Turner, All-Arizona guard Nicole Neals, All-Minnesota forward Cory Montgomery, Iowa Female Athlete of the Year Kala Kuhlmann and All-Nebraska center Nikki Bober.
NU's fifth group included 2007 Miss Nebraska Basketball Dominique Kelley, who set a Husker record by starting all 33 games as a freshman in 2007-08, Canadian National Program member Kaitlyn Burke, California State Junior College Tournament MVP Tay Hester, French National Team member Jessica Periago, and Texas all-stater Catheryn Redmon.
The Huskers' sixth class featured Canadian National program member Harleen Sidhu and Texan Layne Reeves, while NU's seventh class included ESPN Top 100 point guard and state of Washington Gatorade Player of the Year Lindsey Moore, along with California high school standout Meghin Williams. Moore earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team after breaking Kelley's NU record by starting all 34 games in 2009-10.
Nebraska's eighth recruiting class lived up to the lofty expectations created by the success of the Huskers' 2010 senior class. That group included two-time Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year and WBCA honorable-mention All-American Jordan Hooper from Alliance.
Yori's ninth class was the most successful in school history. Led by Nebraska prep star Emily Cady, Texan Hailie Sample, Californian Tear'a Laudermill and Parade All-American and 2011 Louisiana High School Player of the Year Brandi Jeffery, that group became the first class in Husker history make four straight NCAA Tournament trips at Nebraska. They also won more Big Ten Conference games than any other team during their four years in Lincoln, helping the Huskers make a successful transition to their new league beginning with their freshman season in 2011-12.
Yori's 10th class was led by All-Ohio guard Rachel Theriot, who joined an elite group of Huskers (Jordan Hooper, Karen Jennings) to earn All-America honors as a sophomore in 2014. Theriot, a 6-0 point guard who was ranked among the top 100 players in the nation in high school, shattered Nebraska's single-season assist record as a sophomore while ranking among the nation's top players in assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio in 2013-14.
Yori's 11th Husker class was led by All-Michigan forward Allie Havers. The 6-5 Havers was ranked as the No. 76 high school senior in the nation. Canadian Esther Ramacieri joined Havers in contributing for the Huskers as a freshman in 2013-14.
Yori's 12th and 13th signing classes represented the first two top-10 groups in school history.
Yori came to Nebraska after 10 successful years at Creighton, where she closed her career as the 2002 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year after leading CU to MVC regular-season and tournament titles and a 2002 NCAA Tournament bid. Along with the MVC title and a trip to the 2002 NCAA Tournament, the Bluejays went 24-7 with a 16-2 MVC mark. CU also set school and league records with 249 three-pointers to rank fifth nationally with 8.0 per game.
The Ankeny, Iowa, native produced a 170-115 (.596) mark in 10 seasons at Creighton. Overall, Yori spent 17 seasons at Creighton, including four as a guard (1982-83 through 1985-86) and three as an assistant coach (1986-87 through 1988-89) under Bruce Rasmussen.
Between stints as an assistant coach and head coach at Creighton, Yori spent one year (1989-90) as the head softball coach at St. Thomas University in Miami, Fla., where she earned her master's degree in sports administration. Yori then spent two seasons as head coach at NCAA Division III Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, (1990-91 and 1991-92).
After two years at Loras College, she returned to Creighton to take the reins from her mentor, Rasmussen, who accepted an associate athletic director position at CU in 1992, and has since become athletic director.
In her first season as Creighton's head coach in 1992-93, Yori led the Bluejays to a 20-8 record, a 12-4 conference mark and the school's second trip to the NCAA Tournament. CU earned a No. 10 seed in the Midwest Region and defeated No. 7-seed Bowling Green (84-73) before losing to defending national champion Texas Tech (75-65) in the second round.
In her second season (1993-94), Yori's Bluejays raced to a 24-7 record and a 14-2 MVC mark. Her 2001-02 Creighton squad matched that mark, while setting a school record with 16 conference victories, and also advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Yori graduated from Creighton with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1986, and earned a master's degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University in 1990. As a player for the Bluejays, Yori ranks third on the school's all-time scoring list with 2,010 points. A 1992 inductee into the Creighton University Athletic Hall of Fame, Yori owns the school record for career scoring average (20.3 ppg). She also owns school game records for points (42) and field goals made (20). She ranks second in career field goals made (797) and free throws made (416), fourth in rebounds (746), fifth in field goal percentage (.542) and assists (399) and seventh in blocked shots (69). Her No. 25 jersey was also retired by Creighton.
In 2013, Yori was inducted into the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame.
A 1982 graduate of Ankeny High School, Yori is a two-time inductee into the Iowa Girl's High School Athletic Union Hall of Fame as a basketball and softball player. She led the Hawkettes to a state title in 1980 and a runner-up finish in 1981, scoring 3,068 points in her six-on-six prep career. A four-time first-team all-state shortstop, Yori also helped Ankeny to state softball titles in 1979, 1980 and 1981.
Yori is married to Kirk Helms and the couple has a son, Lukas, born in July of 2004. Yori has been active in the community as a volunteer. She was born Oct. 3, 1963, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Yori's Year-by-Year Record