After head coach Brittany Lange’s contract was not renewed following the 2019-2020 season, the UNO women’s basketball team was in search of a new face to lead the program.
The university announced on April 7 that former Ohio State assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Carrie Banks would take over the head coaching position.
“I’m thankful for the people I’ve been able to work with and work under,” Banks said. “I just hope to bring the best of those things to UNO.”
During her time in Columbus, Ohio, Banks helped bring in a top-five recruiting class for 2019. The Buckeyes also saw much success on the court, as they were predicted to be a five seed in this season’s, now canceled, NCAA tournament.
Banks believes that her time at a power-five conference school will help instill an elite culture at UNO.
“Really one thing [Ohio State] taught me is the high-level competition and just the day to day process and preparation that goes into being a high-level team,” Banks said. “I hope to instill that mindset with the current team.”
In a press release, Athletic Director Trev Alberts noted his anticipation for the future of Omaha basketball with Banks at the helm.
“During the interview process, [Banks] articulated an exciting vision for the future of women’s basketball at Omaha,” Alberts said. “We can’t wait to help her build that vision into a reality.”
Banks shares this vision that ultimately landed her in Omaha for her first head coaching position:
“I just really talked about the level of competition, and just having players on the floor that are going to be tough and are going to be relentless competitors,” Banks said. “An up-tempo style of play, just getting after it defensively, those are things that I feel like I can bring to the table. I think we have a good, committed group of individuals who are just ready to embrace that style of play and message.”
With the loss of only one senior and the return of standout players such as freshman Ella Ogier and junior Mariah Murdie, coach Banks has confidence in the potential of the Maverick squad. She plans to hone in on the youthful talent for the upcoming season.
“I want to get them as close to that ceiling as I possibly can and I think that once they start to see the games and the improvements, they’ll really start to make big strides into their development,” Banks said.
With current restrictions to in-person meetings, Banks took to Zoom to meet her new team. The head coach had a strong message for the Mavericks after they finished last season on a quarterfinal loss to top-ranked South Dakota in the Summit League tournament.
“We’re going to forget the past and move forward,” Banks said. “It’s a fresh start and it’s a new opportunity for all of them. I’m just hoping they’re ready to bring their best, and I’m ready to get the best out of them.”