UIU Director of Athletics David Miller, Women’s Basketball Coach Carol Russell, and UIU President Dr. Alan Walker.
Upper Iowa University Director of Athletics David Miller has announced that Carol Russell has been selected as the new head women’s basketball coach at UIU. Russell, who spent the last eight seasons as the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, has accepted the head coaching position and will be the 12th head coach in the 35-year history of the Peacock women’s basketball program.
“We are excited to bring someone of Carol’s caliber to lead our women’s basketball program,” stated Miller. “She has the background and experience we were seeking. Carol is an accomplished and proven coach within the NCAA Division II ranks and within our region.
Russell posted a record of 163-79 in her eight seasons as the leader of the Lopers. She led UNK to a pair of RMAC titles and five trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament. Her 2002-03 squad helped her break the record for wins in a season (25) by a first-year head coach at UNK. The Lopers have reached 20 wins six times under the Manhattan, Kansas native.
“Carol is a head coach who has enjoyed success throughout her career,” said Miller. “She knows the X’s and O’s of the game, is a proven recruiter, places value on academic achievement and graduation, and believes in a positive, student-athlete experience. I am proud to have her as our coach at Upper Iowa University.”
At UNK, Russell coached 4 All-Americans, 6 All-Region players, and 17 All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Players. Three Lopers were named RMAC Players of the Year and two were named RMAC Freshman of the Year. In the classroom, the Lopers had 7 Academic All-District players, 2 RMAC Academic Players of the Year, and the 2006-07 team earned a 3.58 GPA, the second highest in NCAA Division II that year.
Prior to taking over at Nebraska-Kearney, Russell made coaching stops as an assistant coach at Texas Pan American (2000-2002), Truman State (1995-2000), Nebraska (1994-95), and Bradley (1993-94).
“We are pleased to have Carol along with her husband, Todd Sorensen, and two boys, Isaac and Avery, as members of the Peacock family. They will be a great addition to our department, University, and community,” added Miller.
A graduate of the University of Nebraska, Russell played 105 games in a Husker uniform with 25 starts. She was the team’s captain as a senior and was named Academic All-Big 8 honors (1989-90).
Current Drake University head women’s basketball coach, Amy Stephens, had the following to say about her former Husker teammate, “Coach Russell had an outstanding career at the University of Nebraska and has now turned into one of the best DII coaches. She really knows the game of basketball and has the ability to coach her teams to the highest level. Upper Iowa hired a great coach in Carol Russell!”
Upper Iowa University is located in Fayette, Iowa and is the only NCAA Division II institution in the state. The Peacock athletic programs compete in the highly competitive Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference; the NSIC has claimed seven NCAA Championships since 2006.
Russell Year-by-Year Win-Loss Record at UNK
Year W-L (RMAC) Highlight
- 2002-03 25-6 (18-1) RMAC Champs and NCAA 1st Round
- 2003-04 25-6 (16-3) RMAC Champs and NCAA Round; won RMAC tournament
- 2004-05 14-14 (12-7) Qualified for RMAC Tournament; Eight home wins
- 2005-06 21-8 (15-4) Made RMAC Tourn. semifinals; 14-1 at home
- 2006-07 22-10 (13-6) NCAA Sweet 16; Finished year ranked 22nd nationally
- 2007-08 27-7 (17-2) NCAA 2nd Round; made RMAC Tournament finals
- 2008-09 20-10 (14-5) NCAA 1st Round; had 12-game win streak late in the year
- 2009-10 9-18 (8-11) 4th Place East Division of RMAC
Director of Sports Communication
Upper Iowa University