Indiana women’s basketball coach Teri Moren announced her coaching staff this week.
Wednesday, they were introduced to the local media.
Joining Moren in her first season at IU will be Curtis Loyd, Rhet Wierzba and Todd Starkey. Loyd has been in Bloomington since May and had been on the previous staff. He recently had been an assistant at Minnesota for four seasons.
Wierzba was on Moren’s staff at Indiana State. Starkey is a former NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year. He spent the last nine seasons as head coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C.
Along with introducing her coaches Wednesday, Moren answered a few questions about her first few weeks on the job. Moren spent the last four seasons as the head coach at Indiana State before accepting the IU job on Aug. 9.
She replaced Curt Miller who resigned on July 25.
Moren was asked if she will do things much differently than her predecessor.
“We decided when we took this job that one of the things that we weren’t going to do was to try and reinvent the wheel,’’ Moren said. “This is a team that had been very comfortable in the old system offensively and we feel like we can have that and at the same time bring in some things that we have done at other stops and add to it.
“One thing I will say is that our focus is not just going to be on the offensive end, it’s going to be on the defensive end as well. That’s going to be an emphasis in practice and in games that we’re able to defend and rebound the ball especially on the nights when maybe our shots aren’t falling.
Moren was forced to hit the ground running when she was hired in early August. She said the biggest challenge, which is over now, was to get her staff in place.
“It was different timing, no question about it,’’ Moren said. “Normally coaches are looking for jobs at the end of our season. Starting in August though, it took me a little bit longer to really find all of the pieces that I wanted to surround myself with in order to have a sound staff.
“The other piece of it was that players were not that difficult. With texting and being on the phone and just communicating with them and then spending time with them once they got on campus, this is a really good group of girls. They want to put the past behind and move forward. They made the very, very clear. They’re just excited about what the future holds for us.’’
Moren played against Indiana in the regular season the last two years she was at Indiana State and admitted that helped her familiarity with the Hoosiers.
“We’re familiar with them and obviously with the freshmen as kids that we saw on the recruiting circuit,’’ Moren said. “It’s just a matter of time. We have a two hours a week right now until Sept. 15 and then that all changes. We’ll be on the floor as a team. I’m not worried about that piece of it. I think they like what they’ve seen so far and I’ve been really happy with the way they’ve showed up every day and gone to work.
Indiana has a very young team but Moren sees that as more of a positive than a negative because the Hoosiers had success as young players. IU finished 21-13 overall last year after winning its first 14 games of the season and being ranked nationally.
“I think it’s really positive especially when they’re coming off the kind of season they’re coming off of,’’ Moren said. “They were able to accomplish that with young players. You can’t wait for you freshmen to become sophomores and your sophomores to become juniors. I think if anything it’s very positive and that you add the four pieces with those four freshmen that were unbelievable high school players and now it just gets more exciting.’’