As stated previously, a good staff can make or break a basketball program and head coach Teri Moren has had one of the best in the business throughout her time in Bloomington.
There’s been some recent turnover because a few members have been good enough to move onto head coaching roles or high major assistant jobs closer to home. Not a bad thing at all, and the program has made some really good hires when it’s had to.
Let’s get into it
Each program is allowed three main assistants, and Indiana has two relatively newer faces on the bench joined by a stalwart. As of this academic year, programs can have two more assistants, though they can’t travel for recruiting.
Associate Head Coach Rhet Wierzba
Wierzba has been with the Hoosiers since Moren was first hired at Indiana years ago and is entering his fourth year with the title of associate head coach. He was previously on Moren’s staff at Indiana State, with a stint as an assistant at Mercer and in an operations role with Maryland previously.
He’s known as an excellent recruiter, having noticed current Indiana senior Chloe Moore-McNeil while on a visit to Tennessee.
When it comes to coaching, Wierzba works with Indiana’s frontcourt and has helped develop Mackenzie Holmes into a First Team All-American and Big Ten Defensive Player of the year.
He’s also outwardly embraced the culture at Indiana during his time in Bloomington, taking the time to wish other programs like men’s/women’s soccer, men’s basketball, football and others luck and track their seasons.
Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Linda Sayavongchanh
Sayavongchanh is entering her second season in Bloomington after helping lead the Hoosiers to a Big Ten title in her first.
She previously held the same titles for seven seasons with Creighton, where the Bluejays made multiple trips to the NCAA Tournament including a few Sweet Sixteens and one Elite Eight in 2022. Creighton won the Big East regular season championship in 2016-17, its first in program history.
She primarily works with guards in Bloomington, namely Syndey Parrish, who improved throughout the season to earn a solid starting spot. At Creighton, she worked with guards and hybrid/post players.
Players coached by Sayavongchanh include Jaylyn Agnew (2020 Big East Player of the Year and WNBA Draft Pick), Marissa Janning, Temi Carda and Sydney Lamberty, all of whom earned All-Big East honors.
Assistant Coach Amber Smith
Smith was hired this past offseason following the departure of Associate Head Coach Glenn Box to take the head coaching job at Miami (OH).
She was previously an assistant on the staff at Kentucky, where she also worked in player development. Previous stops include an assistant role at Louisiana Tech and as a graduate assistant with Tennessee.
Starring at guard for the Wildcats as a player, Smith helped lead Kentucky to two Elite Eight appearances in her 109 9 starts in Lexington.
Smith has helped developed a long list of players at Kentucky including First Team All-American and eventual WNBA Draft No. 1 overall pick Rhyne Howard. Others include fellow WNBA draftees Evelyn Akhator and Makayla Epps.
Assistant Coach/Team & Recruitment Coordinator Ali Patberg
This is obviously a name you should know.
Patberg starred for the Hoosiers for years after transferring from Notre Dame, helping lead the program to an Elite Eight and a Sweet Sixteen in her final two years as a player with Indiana.
She rejoined the program as a team & recruitment coordinator last year then added assistant coaching duties to her responsibilities this year. Though she can’t travel for recruiting as Indiana’s other assistants can.
Indiana has multiple members of its support staff in operations and player development.
Director of Basketball Operations Liz Honegger
Honegger has been working as the program’s DOBO for 12 years. She’s an Indiana native and former High School All-Star along with being one of the best players in Bowling Green history.
Director of Player Development Briana Schomaeker
Schomaeker is in her eighth year as the program’s director of player development, coordinating team travel, camps and serving as a liaison for units in and outside of athletics.
She won three SEC championships playing for legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt after a storied high school career at North Central in Indianapolis.