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Bill Fennelly Comes Home: Iowa Time Machine July 11, 1995



Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On July 11, 1995, Iowa State announced Bill Fennelly as the new head coach of Cyclone women’s basketball. Under Fennelly’s leadership, Iowa State has qualified for the NCAA Tournament 17 times, captured three Big 12 Tournament titles, and won the Big 12 regular season title.



Born in Davenport, Fennelly got into coaching while a student at William Penn. Serving as a volunteer assistant with the women’s basketball program during 1977 opened the door for Fennelly to move into a full-time assistant coach role after graduation. Fennelly worked his way up the college coaching ranks with stints as an assistant coach at Fresno State and Notre Dame before landing his first head coaching job at the University of Toledo.



The Rockets took off with Fennelly at the helm. During his time in Toledo, the team went 166-53 and captured three MAC regular season and tournament titles. Fennelly also led the Rockets to an NIT runner-up in 1990 while guiding the team to six postseason tournament births. Brought back to Iowa to help turn around a Cyclone women’s basketball program that boasted only five winning seasons in the previous twenty-two years, Fennelly proved up for the challenge.



During his tenure, Iowa State women’s basketball quickly gained national relevance. Fennelly accumulated over 750 career victories (777-366) and averaged over 21 wins per season in his 28 years at Iowa State (611-313) going into the 2024-2025 season. Under his leadership, the Cyclones boast 24 postseason appearances, a pair of NCAA Elite Eight berths, six trips to the NCAA Sweet 16, three Big 12 Tournament titles, a regular-season conference crown, and 17 20-win seasons. Regardless of sport, Fennelly currently stands as the winningest coach in Iowa State history. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar



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