Catching up with Coach

Rest, recovery and recruiting are the three R's of summer for ISU women's basketball head coach Bill Fennelly after having a cancerous lesion removed from his left vocal cord.

At times this summer has been like any other for ISU women's basketball coach Bill Fennelly – preparing for next season and hitting the road for recruiting trips, but on a personal level it's been far from ordinary.


On June 10 Fennelly had a cancerous lesion removed from his left vocal cord and will have a second removed on August 9.


For Fennelly the toughest part of recovering has been the silence, after his first surgery he was on voice rest for two weeks and will follow the same prototype in August.


"Two weeks without talking was interesting. Everyone around [the basketball office] was very happy," Fennelly joked.


The experience has put everything in perspective for Fennelly, he can't believe the well-wishes he's garnered from the ISU community.


"I've always said I've been blessed to be here, but at moments like that you really appreciate the support," Fennelly said. "It's amazing, the support it's just ridiculous the amount of people that were calling and writing; it's just great."


Around the basketball office nothing missed a beat, which Fennelly credits to his close-knit staff.


"I couldn't make the first round of phone calls [to the recruits] but the staff took care of that," Fennelly said. "When you have a staff like I do you don't worry about it too much. We haven't been impacted one bit, so it's time to move ahead and like I said hopefully the one in August will end it and we'll get back to some since of normalcy."


Always animated on the sideline, Fennelly said he might have to alter his coaching style a bit during the upcoming season.


"We'll wait and see how it goes in August," he said. "I will probably have to make some adjustments with practice. I've never coached with a whistle, I've just used my voice, but we'll see. I'll be a little smarter on a day to day basis in how I do things.


"Hopefully the team won't make as many mistakes and I can take care of my voice."


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