, ,

UW-Madison, Marquette Introduce New Basketball Coaches

UW's Moseley Was Attracted To The Job Because Wisconsin Has Seen So Much Success In Other Sports

Marisa Moseley, left, was recently hired to coach the women’s basketball team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Shaka Smart, right, also recently joined Marquette as head coach of its men’s basketball team. Chris Szagola and Charlie Neibergall/AP Photos

Both the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marquette University are welcoming new basketball coaches.

Marisa Moseley, who will coach the UW-Madison women’s team, and Shaka Smart, who will run Marquette’s men’s team, both spoke to the media Monday.

Moseley comes to Wisconsin from Boston University, where she played basketball as a student and changed the team’s trajectory as a coach. BU went 26-63 in the three years before her arrival as head coach. She leaves the team with a winning record.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Coming to Madison was an interesting proposition because Wisconsin has seen such success in sports other than women’s basketball, she said. The women’s ice hockey team won the national championship while Moseley was in talks with her new employer, she noted.

“I was like, ‘No pressure,’” she joked.

Moseley believes Wisconsin has all the tools to build a successful women’s basketball program, she said.

Before joining BU, she worked under Geno Auriemma for nine seasons at the University of Connecticut. During her time there, the Huskies won five national championships. At UConn she learned about the importance of working hard and building a strong culture, she said.

“Coach Auriemma had a phrase, ‘We don’t do it until we get it right. We do it until we can’t get it wrong,’” Moseley said. “I think that’s something I really took away. We don’t just move on from something because the clock ran out.”

At Wisconsin, Moseley becomes the second Black woman to coach in the Big Ten. C. Vivian Stringer has been at Rutgers since 1995, leading the Scarlet Nights to more than a dozen NCAA Tournaments.

Moseley is happy to be a role model for aspiring Black female coaches, she said. But she believes it’s important to emphasize that she’s earned the jobs she’s had, which include a tenure as an assistant at the University of Minnesota.

“I think that, in a role like this, I have an opportunity to show that (Black women) are capable of leading a Power Five program and that it can be successful and that other Black woman should get the opportunity to do that as well,” Moseley said.

Just before Moseley discussed her future at Wisconsin, Smart was introduced at Marquette.

He was previously head coach at the University of Texas, which won the Big 12 tournament this year. During 12 seasons as a head coach there and at Virginia Commonwealth University, Smart led his teams to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2011 Final Four. Texas won the NIT in 2019.

Smart is originally from Madison. He was born in 1977 — the year Marquette won its national title. Head coach Al McGuire famously retired right after the game, and Smart remembers watching him as a commentator.

“Growing up in this part of the country, you couldn’t help but follow this basketball program,” he said.

Relationships are at the foundation of his coaching philosophy, Smart said. He thanked his former coach at Oregon High School in Dane County.

“I was raised by a single mom, and really my coaches in sports were the ones that filled the void of a father figure for me. I used to look at those guys like they were 10 feet tall,” he said.

Smart arrived in Milwaukee on Sunday, and he’s looking forward to visiting his new players, he said.

Neither the Marquette men’s nor the Wisconsin women’s team made the NCAA Tournament this year, while the Marquette women lost in the first round and the Wisconsin men advanced to the second.

Related Stories