Three weeks after Lisa Stone was let go from her position as Wisconsin women's basketball head coach, Barry Alvarez and the UW Athletic Department announced they have hired Stanford assistant coach Bobbie Kelsey as the program's new leader.
Kelsey who played her college basketball with the Cardinal helping Stanford to a National Championship in 1992, spent three years as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech before returning to Palo Alto to join the Cardinal coaching staff in 2007-'08.
In her four years at Stanford under head coach Tara VanDerveer, Kelsey helped the Cardinal reach the Final Four each season and two national championship games. In those five seasons, Stanford assembled an earth-shattering 137-14 (.907) record.
""This is a tremendous opportunity and I am very appreciative that coach Alvarez has put his trust in me,"" Kelsey said. ""This program has excellent support, terrific resources and Madison is a wonderful community. It can be a great program and my intention and goal is to make it a great program.""
While an assistant with Virginia Tech, the Hokies made trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and 2008. In addition to coaching positions with Western Carolina, Evansville and Boise State, Kelsey served as a coach with Florida from 1998-2000. Her 2000 Gator team fell to Wisconsin in the Women's National Invitation Tournament Championship game.
""Her record of success everywhere she has been speaks for itself,"" Alvarez said. ""I was obviously very impressed with her resume and was convinced she was the right person for the job once I got the chance to meet with her in person.""
""She has a definite plan for how to bring success to our women's basketball team and the knowledge and enthusiasm to execute that plan.""
Kelsey replaces Stone, who went 128-119 in eight seasons and reached the NCAA Tournament just once. That appearance came in 2010 when the No. 7 seed Badgers feel to No. 12 Vermont in the first round.
Under Stone, Wisconsin made WNIT appearances in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011. In 2007, Stone led the Badgers to the WNIT championship game before falling to Wyoming.
With three starters returning next season from a team that had accumulated a 21-11 record the year before, Stone's Badgers managed just a 15-13 finish overall and a loss at home to Illinois State in the second round of the WNIT.
Stone, an Oregon, Wis., native, was fired the day after the Illinois State loss.
Kelsey, now the sixth coach in the program's 37 year history, will face a challenge this coming season: Three starters, Lin Zastrow, Tara Steinbauer and second team All-Big Ten guard Alyssa Karel, all graduated from the program this season.
Kelsey will be forced to rebuild around the already established talent of sophomore guard Taylor Wurtz and junior forwards Ashley Thomas and Anya Covington, along with young talent like freshmen Morgan Paige and Cassie Rochel.
VanDerveer, who recently became the ninth women's coach inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, had kind words for Kelsey.
""We are thrilled for Bobbie and for the opportunity she has earned at Wisconsin. I know that she will continue to do a fine job in Madison, and we wish her the absolute best.""