Ardie McInelly

Ardie  McInelly

Head Coach

Alma Mater:
Boise State, 1982

Email Coach McInelly

Head coach Ardie McInelly enters her ninth season at the helm of the Air Force women's basketball program.

Since McInelly's arrival at the Academy, the Falcons have shown major improvement. In her first eight years she has become Air Force's winningest coach at the Division I level.

Eight individuals--Amoy Jackson (twice), LaToya Howell, Shawna Neff, Letricia Castillo, Lauren Henderson, Pamela Findlay, Alecia Steele (four times) and Raimee Beck--have received all-conference honors under McInelly's tutelage.

In 2008-09, the Falcons went 4-26, but had strong seasons from senior Kim Kreke and sophomore Raimee Beck. Kreke set school Div. I era records with 278 rebounds and 43 blocked shots. Beck earned all-conference honors and tied the Div. I era record with 386 points and led the Mountain West Conference, averaging 2.4 three-point baskets and 36.6 minutes played per game.

McInelly guided the team to a 10-19 overall record in 2007-08 . The Falcons had their highest finish in Mountain West Conference play, taking seventh place. Highlights of the season include the program's first-ever win over BYU and holding three conference opponents to their lowest point totals ever against the Falcons.

Senior Alecia Steele earned her fourth all-conference selection and led the team in scoring and rebounding for the fourth-straight season. Steele became Air Force's all-time leading scorer in the Div. I era with 1,237 points and second all-time in rebounding with 765 boards. Senior Pamela Findlay also made the all-conference team and concluded her career at the Academy tied for the best three-point field goal percentage of .429. The Falcons also went 7-6 in home games, marking the first winning home season since making the move to Div. I play.

In 2006-07, Air Force went 6-23. The Falcons saved their best basketball for late in the season, earning their first Mountain West Conference Tournament win by defeating Colorado State in the opening round. Senior Letricia Castillo capped-off a stellar four-year career by eclipsing the grand mark, leaving the Academy ranked eighth all-time in scoring with 1,073 career points. Findlay also set a new Falcon standard at the free-throw line, sinking a school record 89.7 percent of her three throws.

The Falcons enjoyed their finest season as a Div. I program in 2005-06, as McInelly helped lead the team to a 13-15 overall record, marking the Falcons' highest win total since the team moved to Division I in 1996.

The Falcons' impressive turnaround in 2005-06 came just two years after compiling a 3-25 mark and a 7-21 ledger in 2004-05. In addition to posting its best win total at the Division I level, the 2005-06 Air Force team also swept a pair of Mountain West Conference teams (Colorado State and San Diego State) for the first time ever, while recording a 9-2 non-conference mark. This vast improvement was accomplished with a young roster, which boasted 12 freshmen and sophomores and not a single senior.

The Falcons lose Kreke and Brooke Cultra to graduation, but the return of three starters provides McInelly with a solid core to build around. Several reserves showed significant improvement and look to develop into more integral roles. In addition, McInelly adds another stellar freshman class that will immediately push the returners for playing time.

McInelly's success in building a winning program is well-documented. She came to Air Force in 2001 after spending five years as the head coach of Idaho State University, where she helped transform the Bengals from a struggling program to one that is respected and successful. When she first arrived at Idaho State in 1996, the team had just completed an 8-18 season and had only put together two winn two winning seasons in the 17 previous years.

In each of her first two seasons at ISU, the team compiled records of 15-12. She took the team to the Big Sky Tournament four out of her five years, finishing third or higher in the conference in each of those four seasons.

Perhaps her greatest accomplishment came in her final season with the Bengals. That year, McInelly firmly established herself as one of the nation's premier coaches, leading her team to a 25-5 overall record and an undefeated 18-0 conference record to capture the league title. The team rattled off 21 consecutive victories, including a victory over BYU, to start the streak, which was the longest winning streak in the nation. The team made an appearance in the NCAA Midwest Regional, eventually losing to 10th-ranked Vanderbilt.

McInelly's efforts were recognized by her peers, as she earned the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year award her final two seasons. She also tallied 77 victories at Idaho State, tying Ted Anderson for the school's all-time win record, achieving the feat in only five years, compared to Anderson's eight. During her tenure at Idaho State, McInelly compiled a 6-10 ledger versus Mountain West Conference teams.

McInelly produced 14 all-conference athletic selections at Idaho State, with her players excelling academically as well. Her team GPA was 3.24, the highest cumulative GPA in Idaho State's athletic department. She coached 34 academic all-conference athletes during her tenure with the Bengals.

The coach is also making her mark as a noted clinician. McInelly was a featured speaker at the YES Clinic at the Women's Final Four in San Jose in 1999 and Philadelphia in 2000, as well as the West Regional in Missoula in 1997. She has been featured in BlueChip Illustrated, the web magazine Full Court Press and the Women's Basketball Journal.

One of McInelly's most prestigious honors was to serve two years (2002-2004) on the WBCA Kodak All-America selection committee, a program which recognizes the nation's top players.

Prior to her stint with Idaho State, McInelly spent five seasons (1992-96) as an assistant coach at Weber State. She has also been an assistant coach at Pacific (1991-92) and Montana State (1988-91).

McInelly graduated from Boise State in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in physical education. She went on to earn her master's degree in education from Weber State in 1995.

The coach enjoys biking, golfing, working out, working in her yard and spending time with friends and family. She has two older brothers, Leon and Blaine, and an older sister, Suzette. She has 11 nieces and nephews, three grand nephews and three grand nieces.

Air Force Logo


  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago