Akron expresses interest in ISU assistant Kebe

Jeremy Gustafson

ISU women’s basketball assistant coach Kelly Kebe may be leaving the Cyclone family to lead a team of her own.

Kebe interviewed for the head coaching position at the University of Akron on Tuesday. Fresno State University has also expressed interest in Kebe, who has been an assistant under ISU head coach Bill Fennelly since May 1999.

She works with ISU perimeter players.

“We’ve always been blessed to have good assistant coaches here,” Fennelly said, noting that there comes a time when they start “looking to lead their own programs.”

Kebe is just one former Cyclone assistant coach making news lately. Brenda Oldfield, a former assistant at Iowa State, will take over at the University of Maryland.

Oldfield led the University of Minnesota to a 22-8 record, the first time the team has had a winning season since 1993 – 94.

She was named the Associated Press Coach of the Year.

Fennelly knows that losing assistant coaches is the nature of the business in basketball and says it is something he expects to happen again in the future with current assistants Latoja Harris and Robin Pingeton.

“They’re going to have their chance, too,” he said.

While Kebe, who was unavailable for comment, hasn’t officially accepted a position, both schools could use some help. Akron finished 1-27 last year and drew an average of 247 fans per game.

“We have the kind of quality people that they want to lead their programs,” Fennelly said. “It’s a tribute to the school and a credit to those individuals.”

Another former Cyclone assistant, Katie Abrahamson-Henderson is in the running for the Fresno State job. The Bulldogs finished 8-20 last season.

“It shows that we are having some success here,” Fennelly said of his assistant coaches getting offered head coaching jobs.

Still, he doesn’t want to face their teams.

Fennelly said he tries not to schedule games with his former assistants.

“When you win, you feel bad because they feel bad,” Fennelly said. “And it always stinks when you lose.”