While many looked forward to the NCAA women’s basketball championship, cancellation of the tournament was especially painful to Teri Moren.
The 1987 graduate of Seymour High School recently completed her sixth season as head coach of the Indiana University women’s team with a 24-8 record. That was the most wins in program history.
She said between the day the Hoosiers lost to Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament and the selection show, she took a recruiting trip to the West Coast. Moren returned to Indianapolis and was on her way back to Bloomington when she received a tweet from the NCAA saying the tournament was off.
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“It was Thursday, March 12,” Moren said. “We got to the airport at 3, and we were going to have practice at 5. We walked into the locker room, and there were a lot of sad, devastated players.”
The men’s and women’s basketball tournaments along with all other college and professional tournaments and spring season events were canceled or postponed because of COVID-19.
Moren said at this time of year, she would usually be on recruiting trips, making home visits, evaluating returning players and preparing for summer camps.
“I would be extremely busy,” she said, noting coaching is a year-round job at a major university like IU.
Moren said there are two moratorium weeks, one in May and one in August, when coaches are not allowed to perform any basketball tasks.
“But we’re still getting ready for camps,” she said. “The current kids usually go home and return for summer school.”
There was only one senior on the team last winter, Brenna Wise, from Pittsburgh. Moren said Wise’s scholarship could go to one of the nonscholarship players on the team last winter.
Moren had five Indiana players for the 2019-20 season in Ali Patberg from Columbus North, Jorie Allen from Bedford North Lawrence, Grace Waggoner from Vincennes Rivet, Shaila Beeler from Warren Central and Hannah Noveroske from Michigan City.
Among the Hoosiers’ wins was a victory over fifth-ranked South Carolina in the Paradise Jam on Nov. 28.
Moren said that victory gave the Hoosiers confidence going into the Big Ten schedule.
“Getting Big Ten wins on the road is always special,” she said. “The way we built the program is special.”
Moren scored 1,138 points at Seymour. She helped the Owls win four sectionals and two regionals and helped them reach state in 1987, where Seymour lost to Crown Point in the semifinals.
“What people forget is that there was no class basketball,” she said. “It was kind of like the movie ‘Hoosiers’ where a team from a small town made it to the big stage.”
She said there was a lot of pride in Seymour that season, and the crowd support was great.
“I remember when coach Sull (Donna Sullivan) took us to the state tournament every year and we went through the front door,” Moren said of being spectators. “She said someday, we would go through the back door (team entrance), and we did that.”
After playing for Sullivan, Moren went to Purdue University and played for coach Lin Dunn. Both coaches are in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
“I think pretty highly of Sull and coach Dunn,” Moren said. “Some of the things I’ve been able to do is because of the way they coached me. They were important to my growth, not only as a player but as a coach.”
Moren was named an Indiana All-Star in 1987 after averaging 18.7 points per game as a senior and earned all-South Central Conference honors three years while holding the school record for field goals in a season (203) when she graduated.
The Seymour alum also was a member of Purdue’s first NCAA Tournament team and started every game for the 1990-91 Big Ten championship team. She was named to Purdue’s all-decade team and received the Ruth Jones and Red Mackey Awards.
Moren was named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary team in 2012, was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014 and was named to the Seymour High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019.
Moren has compiled a record of 127-74 as head coach of the Hoosiers. She has won 21 or more games each of the past five seasons and set the school record for season wins last winter. She also coached the Hoosiers to the championship of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament championship in 2018.
She said winning 24 games this past winter was nice, but she would have liked to have won a few more in the postseason and was anxious to see how her team would have performed in the NCAA Tournament.
Moren was head coach at University of Indianapolis from 2000 to 2007 and head coach at Indiana State University from 2010 to 2014 and has an overall record of 326-204 in 17 seasons as a head coach. She also was an assistant coach at Butler, Northwestern and Georgia Tech for a combined 11 seasons.
“You want to get better every day,” she said. “You try to get better as a player, as a coach, as a leader. I’ve grown up in a lot of different ways.”