The dean of Big 12 women's basketball coaches, Bill Fennelly built Iowa State women's basketball into one of the nation's elite programs. He has instant credibility with student-athletes, administrators and fans, establishing a solid foundation for his program based on academics, athletics and character. That foundation has grown into a model of success that has been matched by very few women's basketball programs across the country.

Fennelly is one of the nation's most respected coaches and his numbers bear witness to the success he has achieved in his career. He has accumulated over 500 career wins (631-289) and averaged 22 wins per season in his 22 years at Iowa State (465-236). His teams have made 20 NCAA Championship appearances in his 29 seasons as a head coach and he ranks among the nation's top 25 active women's basketball college coaches with a .686 winning percentage. Fennelly has guided the Cyclones to an unprecedented 10 NCAA appearances in the last 11 seasons, one of just 13 schools to do so.

Former ISU president Gregory Geoffroy and athletics director Jamie Pollard awarded Fennelly a lifetime contract following the 2006-07 campaign, displaying their ultimate confidence in his ability to lead the Cyclones for the long term.

WINNING PROGRAM: Fennelly invigorated the Iowa State women's basketball program from the first day he arrived on campus. He took a program that won just 237 games in its first 20 years and guided it to 18 postseason appearances, a pair of NCAA Elite Eight berths, five trips to the NCAA Sweet 16, a pair of Big 12 Championship titles, a regular-season conference crown and 13 20-win seasons in his 21 years at the helm.

Three times the Cyclones claimed a school-record 27 wins, and seven times he has led ISU to 25 wins in a season. In just his second season on campus, Iowa State earned its first NCAA Championship berth and since that time the Cyclones have won 17 NCAA Championship games.

Iowa State shocked the women's basketball world when it knocked off top-seeded Connecticut to advance to the school's first NCAA Elite Eight in 1999. Ten years later, the 2009 Cyclones put their stamp on women's basketball history by overcoming a seven-point deficit with 1:30 left to defeat Michigan State and advance to the school's second NCAA Elite Eight. Under Fennelly, ISU made five NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances, including a streak of three straight from 1999 to 2001 and back-to-back appearances in 2009 and 2010. Iowa State was one of just five schools to reach the NCAA Sweet 16 in both of those seasons.

The Cyclones have been a consistent contender in the Big 12, the nation's best conference, since its inception in Fennelly's second season (1996-97) at ISU. The 1999-2000 ISU squad shared the school's first Big 12 regular-season crown and Iowa State has finished in the upper half of the league's final standings in 15 of its 21 seasons.

Iowa State has enjoyed more success than any other team in the history of the Big 12 Championship, winning 24 tournament contests. Iowa State captured Big 12 tournament titles in 2000 and 2001 and played in the championship game five times, most recently in 2013. The Cyclones are third in all-time Big 12 regular-season victories with 197.

Fennelly's leadership produced ISU All-Americans Stacy Frese, Angie Welle, Anne O'Neil, Lyndsey Medders, Alison Lacey, Kelsey Bolte and most recently Chelsea Poppens and Hallie Christofferson. His Cyclones have earned all-conference recognition 49 times, while 13 of his players have been selected in the WNBA professional draft. Lacey was taken as the 10th pick in the 2010 draft by Seattle, marking Iowa State's highest draft pick in school history. Lacey became the first Cyclone to win a WNBA Championship in 2010 when the Storm defeated Atlanta. In 2013, Iowa State was one of just five schools with multiple players selected in the WNBA Draft when Chelsea Poppens (2nd/18th) was picked by the Seattle Storm and Anna Prins (2nd/23rd) went to the Connecticut Sun.

NATIONALLY RESPECTED: Fennelly is a three-time finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award (2001, 2002, 2005). His peers also voted him the WBCA District 5 Coach of the Year twice (1999, 2005) and he finished runner-up to Tennessee's Pat Summitt in the 1998 Associated Press Women's Coach of the Year balloting.

The turnaround in Ames has been noticed on a national level as Fennelly's squads spent the better part of nine seasons in The Associated Press national poll, including 34 weeks in the top 10.

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE: Fennelly has served four stints as a member of USA Basketball, most recently capturing the gold medal as head coach at the 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen, China.

Previously, Fennelly won gold as an assistant at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championships in Thailand, the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Argentina and the 1994 U.S. Olympic Festival in St. Louis, Mo.

ACADEMICS: Fennelly made academics a top priority for his Cyclone squads, and his student-athletes have flourished in the classroom. Every student-athlete who has completed her eligibility under Fennelly has graduated from Iowa State with a degree. Former Cyclone women's basketball players are scattered all over the globe with careers as doctors, lawyers, broadcasters, teachers, accountants and coaches. Many also have continued their playing careers professionally overseas and in the WNBA.

During Fennelly's tenure, Iowa State has been represented on the academic all-conference list 117 times. Five Cyclones earned academic All-America honors and an ISU player made the district academic All-America list 13 times during that span.

FAMILY: For the Fennelly family, basketball is a way of life. Fennelly insists his wife, Deb, is his all-time greatest recruit, and she has been an integral part of ISU's success, making each new Cyclone feel like a part of her own family. The couple's oldest son, Billy, has gone into the family business and joined the Iowa State staff as the Director of Player Development in July 2010 before moving into an assistant role in 2012. Billy is married to former Cyclone great Lyndsey Medders, who ranks second all-time in assists at ISU. Steven, the youngest son of Bill and Deb, graduated from ISU in 2011 and served as a graduate assistant for the Cyclones (2011-13) before being named an assistant at Cal State-Fullerton in 2013. He began working with the Idaho Vandals as an assistant coach in the summer of 2016.

FAN SUPPORT: Fennelly took a personal approach to expanding the Iowa State fan base into one of most envied crowds in all of women's basketball. The Cyclones' yearly attendance average has grown from 733 fans per game the season before Fennelly arrived at ISU to nearly 10,000 a contest last season, ranking third nationally. ISU's attendance has ranked among the top 11 schools nationally in each of the last 15 seasons, peaking at second in 2013 and 2014. The Cyclones enjoyed their first-ever sellout crowd in a 2004 WNIT/NIT doubleheader against Saint Joseph's.

COACHING TREE: Fennelly has mentored a number of former assistant coaches and players who have gone on to successful head coaching careers across the country. Brenda Frese spent four seasons on Fennelly's ISU staff before taking over the reins of her own program. She led Maryland to the 2006 national championship. After three seasons on Fennelly's coaching staff, Robin Pingeton was named head coach at Illinois State before being named the head coach at Missouri prior to the 2010-11 campaign. At Illinois State, she guided the Redbirds to a pair of Missouri Valley Conference tournament titles and earned MVC Coach of the Year honors.

Former Fennelly assistant Katie Abrahamson-Henderson was named the head coach at the University at Albany for the 2010-11 campaign and has led the Great Danes to three NCAA Tournaments. She spent five seasons as head coach at Missouri State, where she led the Lady Bears to two regular-season Missouri Valley Conference championships, three NCAA appearances and a WNIT crown. Most recently, she accepted the head coach position at UCF. Chris Kielsmeier started his coaching career as a student manager for Fennelly. Now the head coach at Wayne State, Kielsmeier also spent eight seasons as head coach at Howard Payne University, where he led the Lady Jackets to a 33-0 record and the 2008 NCAA Division III national championship. Kelly Kebe Kennedy, an assistant in Ames from 1999-2002, spent four years as the head coach at the University of Akron.

Former Cyclone and all-Big 12 performer Janel Grimm Burgess also entered the coaching ranks, taking over the Grand Valley State program in Allendale, Mich. In her third season Burgess directed the Lakers to a 20-8 mark and an NCAA Division II Championship berth. Brittany Lange, who played for and was a student assistant for Fennelly at Iowa State (2006-10), was named head coach at Omaha in 2014. Another All-Big 12 performer Heather Ezell joined the staff at Southeast Missouri in 2011.

BACKGROUND: A native of Davenport, Iowa, Fennelly acquired an extensive background in coaching before becoming Iowa State's sixth head coach on July 10, 1995. Fennelly went 166-53 in seven years as head coach at the University of Toledo. He still is the Mid-American Conference's winningest coach with a .758 win percentage. He compiled six 20-win seasons and six postseason tournament berths at Toledo. Fennelly coached the Rockets to second-, third- and fifth-place finishes in the WNIT and three NCAA Championship appearances. He is a member of Toledo's Varsity "T" Hall of Fame.

Fennelly spent 12 years as an assistant coach, including stops at William Penn University (Oskaloosa, Iowa), Fresno State and Notre Dame. He graduated from William Penn with a bachelor's degree in business administration and economics in 1979.


Jodi Steyer is in her 16th season on the Cyclone coaching staff, after rejoining Bill Fennelly's staff in May 2002. She spent six seasons as his assistant at Toledo.

She was promoted to Associate Head Coach in June of 2012.

Steyer has been an integral part of the Cyclones' 13 postseason bids in the last 16 seasons, including the 2009 NCAA Elite Eight berth, the 2010 NCAA Sweet 16 and the semifinals of the Women's National Invitation Tournament in 2004.

She has helped Fennelly guide the Cyclones to the NCAA Championships in 10 of the last 11 seasons, including 2012-13 when Iowa State went 24-9 and finished in second place in the Big 12.

Steyer oversees the Cyclone backcourt and has had the opportunity to work with some of the best guards in Iowa State and Big 12 history. Most recently, Steyer coached Seanna Johnson who earned All-Big 12 First-Team honors in 2015-16 and finished second in the league in both points and rebounds.She also coached guard Bridget Carleton to a unanimous All-Big 12 First-Team selection her sophomore season.

Steyer also coached Nikki Moody and Kelsey Bolte who each earned All America honors as well as being unanimous selections to the All-Big 12 first team.  Moody became Iowa State's 13th WNBA Draft pick in school history when she was selected by the San Antonio Stars as the 33rd overall pick in 2015.

Steyer also helped guide Alison Lacey to All-America honors in 2010. Under Steyer's tutelage, Lacey was the highest WNBA pick in school history, chosen 10th by the Seattle Storm, and was a unanimous All-Big 12 selection. Demonstrating her versatility, Lacey was just the second player in school history to record a triple-double and the only player in ISU history to record 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a career.

Steyer also came on board for Lindsey Wilson's final season at ISU as she made her way into second place on the school's career scoring chart with 1,875 points. She also helped guide Lyndsey Medders to a school-record 719 career assists and 1,449 career points.

Iowa State is one of the nation's most prolific three-point shooting teams under Steyer's guidance, leading the Big 12 in three-pointers in all but one season since the inception of the conference. The Cyclones also own nearly every three-point mark in the Big 12 record book.

A native of Burlington, Wis., Steyer was a four-year letterwinner and starter at Colorado State. She finished her career as the Rams' all-time leading scorer (1,598). She earned first-team all-High Country Conference honors three times and academic all-league honors all four years. The former forward earned her bachelor's degree in business administration and marketing from CSU in 1989.

Steyer joined Fennelly at Toledo in 1989, working primarily with the Rocket post players. She coached five all-conference players and two Mid-American Conference players of the year, including current Iowa State assistant Latoja Schaben (1993). Fennelly and Steyer guided Toledo to a 141-45 record in six seasons, including five postseason appearances. Steyer spent an additional year at Toledo after Fennelly left for Iowa State, helping the Rockets to a 25-6 record and an NCAA Championship berth in 1996.

Steyer and her husband, Ed, have a daughter (Jamie) and a son (Eric).


Latoja Schaben, who played for head coach Bill Fennelly at Toledo, is in her 20th season on the Cyclone staff. During her tenure in Ames, Iowa State has compiled an overall record of 413-201 and made 17 postseason appearances.

Just as she helped Fennelly propel Toledo into the national spotlight as an All-American center for the Rockets, she joined her mentor on the sidelines at ISU to build a nationally recognized program. In her first season, the Cyclones recorded their first 25-win season (25-8).

Schaben has been part of many ISU women's basketball firsts, celebrating a pair of Big 12 Championship titles (2000, 2001), a share of the 2000 regular-season conference crown and two trips to the NCAA Championship's Elite Eight. She saw the Cyclones win over top-seeded Connecticut in 1999 to shock the women's basketball world and send ISU to its first NCAA Elite Eight. She was on the sidelines 10 years later when ISU used a come-from-behind victory to knock of Michigan State in 2009 for its second Elite Eight berth in school history.

She saw ISU become a mainstay in the national rankings over a three-year stretch, including the team's highest spot at No. 4, and has helped direct the Cyclones to 12 NCAA Championship berths. In addition to the two Elite Eight appearances, Schaben has coached ISU in three more Sweet Sixteen contests, including its most recent trip in 2010, and a total of 25 NCAA Championship games. In 2004 and 2006, the Cyclones were selected to play in the WNIT, advancing to the semifinals in 2004.

Schaben's primary assignment is working with the Cyclone post players. Schaben helped coach Chelsea Poppens to All-America honors twice in her career. Poppens was the only player to average a double-double in the nation's toughest conference in 2011-12 and went on to become just the 14th player in Big 12 history to record 1,000 career points and rebounds.

Poppens and fellow post player Anna Prins were second-round WNBA draft picks in 2013. Forward Hallie Christofferson followed suitearning All-Big 12 First-Team honors as a junior  and senior, en route to back-to-back All-America honors.

Schaben also tutored Iowa State's all-time leading scorer, Angie Welle. She saw Welle post 54 career double-doubles and earn nine All-America honors in her career. She also played a role in developing Brittany Wilkins, who went on to a professional basketball career both in the WNBA and overseas. Schaben has also coached Nicky Wieben, ISU's most prolific shot blocker. Prins earned Big 12 All-Freshman accolades and all three 2009-10 newcomers won Big 12 Freshman-of-the-Week accolades at some point during the season. Christofferson also earned Big 12 All-Freshman honors in 2010-11.

Prior to arriving in Ames, Schaben joined the professional basketball ranks for three years. She played in Portugal, Italy, Finland and Turkey, averaging double-figures in both scoring and rebounding her entire professional career and leading all of her teams to the finals for the first time in the programs' history.

At Toledo, Schaben was an honorable mention All-American center, lettering three years and earning 1993 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year honors. Schaben graduated from UT in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in communications.

The Mansfield, Ohio, native was inducted into the Toledo Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Mansfield Senior Hall of Fame in 2003. Schaben, who married Scott in 2007, has a daughter (Jasmine).


Billy Fennelly is in his sixth season as an assistant coach after spending two seasons as the director of player development for Iowa State women's basketball.

In 2012-13, Fennelly's first as an assistant coach, Iowa State went 24-9 overall and finished second in the Big 12. The Cyclones, who advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, saw forwards Hallie Christofferson and Chelsea Poppens earn All-America and All-Big 12 First-Team honors. Poppens and fellow senior Anna Prins were second round WNBA draft picks.

In 2013-14, the Cyclones continued their storied success with another 20-win season and the program's eighth-consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament. Star forward Hallie Christofferson earned All-America honors for the second straight year, while Iowa State became the first Big 12 school to place two freshmen on the All-Big 12 Freshman team with Jadda Buckley and Seanna Johnson earning honors.

The 2014-15 season saw the Cyclones advance to the NCAA Tournament for a ninth-straight time. Senior point guard Nikki Moody was drafted 33rd overall by the San Antonio Stars and also broke ISU's career assist record with 745 to her name.

Three of Iowa State's last four recruiting classes ranked in the top-25 nationally by the recruiting service All Star Girls Report.

In his two seasons as director of player development, Fennelly coordinated ISU video operations for player development, works with student-athletes on life skill development and is involved with community outreach. His responsibilities also include assisting with on-campus recruiting activities, serving as the liaison for other department units, such as marketing, academic services and equipment, and the oversight of Iowa State's women's basketball social media.

Prior to returning to Iowa State, Fennelly spent two years as the director of basketball operations on Joe McKeown's women's basketball staff at Northwestern University. In 2009-10, he saw the Wildcats double their winning total from the previous season for an 18-15 overall record and the third biggest turnaround by a BCS team last season. NU also made the round of 16 in the Women's National Invitational Tournament, the first time in 13 years the Wildcats advanced to postseason play.

Fennelly also spent one season on Brenda Frese's staff at the University of Maryland. During the 2007-08 season, he served as the administrative assistant to the recruiting coordinator, in a season where the Terrapins finished 33-4 and advanced to the NCAA Regional Final.

Fennelly previously spent three seasons on his father's staff, serving as a team manager for the Cyclones from 2004 to 2007. He is married to former ISU point guard Lyndsey Medders and the couple have one son, William.


Josh Carper is in his 10th season on the Iowa State women's basketball staff, after spending five seasons with the Cyclone men's team.

Since joining the staff in 2008-09, Carper has seen the Cyclones post a record of 185-104 and advance to eight NCAA Tournaments. Iowa State has advanced to the Elite Eight in 2008-09 and the Sweet 16 in 2009-10 during Carper's tenure.

Carper's roll on staff includes scheduling practices, team travel, assisting with camps, budgets, alumni relations and game scheduling.

Carper served as the associate for operations on the ISU men's basketball staff in 2007-08, and he previously spent four years as a student manager for the Cyclone men's team.

A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Carper was part of a men's NIT Final Four team and an NCAA Championship squad as a student manager. He also assisted with the women's team in its 2007 NCAA Championship appearance as a manager.

As the men's associate for operations, Carper assisted the staff with day-to-day operations, including pregame scouting and video editing.

Carper earned his bachelor's degree in marketing from Iowa State in 2007. He is also married to former Iowa State guard Kelsey Bolte and the couple have one daughter, Reese.


Cassandra Baier joined the Cyclone women's basketball staff in July of 2016 as the director of strength and conditioning. Baier comes to the Cyclones after spending nearly four years at Bucknell University as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for women’s basketball, women’s soccer, volleyball, softball, women’s lacrosse, women’s rowing and cheerleading.

Prior to her position at Bucknell, Baier spent two years working in strength and conditioning with the Army in Fort Lee, Virginia, training soldiers in the newly adopted Physical Readiness Training protocol.

A native of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Baier also had stops at the University of Michigan working with football and softball and West Virginia where she interned during the 2007-08 season after earning her bachelor’s degree from Slippery Rock. Baier also received her master’s in Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention from California University of Pennsylvania.

Baier also holds certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCS), USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach, NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist, Westside Barbell Special Strengths Certified, and American Red Cross First Aid, CPR, AED.