WINFIELD — Former Southwestern College basketball player Whitney Corley has been named as the Moundbuilders’ interim head coach for the 2015-16 season.
Corley, who played for longtime coach Dave Denly, will be replacing her mentor after he took the head job of the start-up Bellevue University program in Nebraska. Denly had been head coach at Southwestern for 17 years, never finishing any lower than fourth in the KCAC and consistently guiding the Builders to the NAIA National Tournament.
"This is the job I have dreamed of since my playing career at Southwestern ended," Corley said in a press release. "I had a great experience playing for coach Denly and getting my undergraduate degree here. I got the opportunity to get some experience from some other coaches in other programs with the idea of bringing that back to this program. I feel very lucky and blessed to get this opportunity because this program and this school were so good to me."
Corley was the assistant women's basketball coach at for the Lady Builders last season after playing for Denly from 2003-05. She earned honorable mention All-KCAC in her first season at SC before earning KCAC Player of the Year honors as a senior.
She ranks second all-time in 3-pointers made in Southwestern history. In two seasons, she made 211 three-pointers, trailing only Andrea Mohr (265), who played four years.
Corley graduated from Southwestern in 2006. She spent one year as a student assistant coach at Southwestern and then was a graduate assistant coach at Fort Hays State University. She became the assistant women's basketball coach at Garden City Community College in 2008 and spent the next six seasons in that position before returning to Southwestern College last year.
The Lady Builders will return 12 players, which gives Corley the ammunition for another KCAC title run.
"The girls coming back are excited, ready for something new and fresh but they also understand that there is a formula for success that has worked for almost 20 years so moving away from that won't happen a whole lot. I think this has been comforting to the returners," Corley said. "They know that I have had experience with coach Denly and they seem to be comfortable with the transition because it is a little more familiar to them than bringing someone new into the program."