Breaking norms is challenging. It’s easy to become complacent and accept your position.
A number of Iowa State coaches have not accepted the norm and are successfully writing new scripts for their programs.
Take a bow, Andrea Grove-McDonough, Andrew Tank, Christy Johnson-Lynch, Christie Martens, Fred Hoiberg, Tony Minatta, Martin Smith and Duane Sorenson.
Those Iowa State coaches helped their programs to finishes in the league standings this year that were at least two spots higher than what the school averaged in the prior 17 years as a Big 12 member.
Grove-McDonough’s women’s cross country team won the Big 12 championship last fall. That program has an average league finish of 6.7 during its tenure in the Big 12. So, the first-place finish in ‘13 was a 5.7-spot improvement over the program’s long-term norm.
- Tank’s men’s golf team was fourth this spring (9.3 avg.); thus a 5.3-spot gain;
- Johnson-Lynch’s volleyball team was third last fall (7.0 avg.); thus a 4.0-spot gain;
- Marten’s women’s golf team was fourth this spring (7.9 avg.); thus a 3.9-spot gain;
- Hoiberg’s men’s basketball team was third last winter (6.8 avg.); thus a 3.8-spot gain;
- Minatta’s (assistant in ‘13) soccer team was fourth last fall (7.8 avg.); thus a 3.8-spot gain;
- Smith’s men’s cross country team was second last fall (5.5 avg.); thus a 3.5-spot gain;
- Smith’s women’s indoor track team was fourth last winter (7.4 avg.); thus a 3.4-spot gain;
- Smith’s men’s indoor track team was sixth last winter (9.2 avg.); thus a 3.2-spot gain; and
- Sorenson’s swimming & diving team was third last winter (5.3 avg.); thus a 2.3-spot gain.
Several other Iowa State sports also surpassed their historic averages, but the group above improved at least two spots.
It is quite rewarding to see the steady improvements that are taking place in many programs at ISU.