The advent of Cyclones.tv and the willingness of coaches to provide occasional access to locker room scenes have provided some really cool videos.
Monday night was one of those times. The difference was that Bill Fennelly’s passion for Iowa State was also shared publicly in a news conference setting.
After spending time discussing strategies in a “great college women’s basketball game” Fennelly was asked if he saw his own image in this team.
After a lengthy silence he said: “if it does, that’s a huge compliment to me, because that’s an amazing group of kids. I loved coaching this team. They gave me something back that I thought I’d lost. To be around them every day and see how hard they worked and the progress they made and the way they cared about one another and the way they wore a uniform that means so much to so many people… amazing.”
Fennelly then said he’d lost a little bit of belief that some people weren’t willing to do things the Iowa State way.
“But, this team did,” Fennelly said.
In the locker room, Fennelly did tell his team that what they did for the school will last a long time. Then, he closed the way he always does.
“Don’t cry because it’s over,” Fennelly said. “Smile because it happened.”
It’s hard not to think that his smile was symbolic for something bigger. It was the confirmation to Fennelly that this team really did understand.