Air Force Academy Names Women's Basketball Coach
June 7, 2001
USAF Academy, Colo. - Ardie McInelly, former head coach of Idaho State University, has been named head coach of the Air Force Academy's women's basketball program, according to Director of Athletics Col. Randy Spetman.
"We are pleased to have a quality Division I head coach come to the Academy," Spetman said. "Ardie brings a wealth of basketball knowledge and is a proven winner. We are extremely excited and look forward to the future of Falcon women's basketball."
The 2000-01 season marked McInelly's fifth year as the head coach of Idaho State. McInelly 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 in the 17 previous years, the Bengals had just two winning seasons.
Her first two seasons, the team had winning records, averaging 15 wins a season. She has taken the team to the Big Sky tournament four out of five years, finishing third or higher in the conference those four seasons.
Last season, McInelly firmly established herself as one of the nation's premier coaches. She led 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. It was the nation's longest winning streak. The team made an appearance in the NCAA Midwest Regional, 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 for the past two seasons. She also had 77 victories at Idaho State, tying the school's all-time win record with Ted Anderson. Anderson took eight years to do it, while McInelly only took five years. She was 6-10 all-time versus Mountain West Conference teams.
McInelly produced 14 all-conference athletic selections, but her players have excelled academically as well. Her team GPA was 3.24, the highest cumulative GPA in Idaho State's athletic department. She has coached 34 academic all-conference athletes.
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.
Before her stint with Idaho State, McInelly spent five seasons (1991-96) as an assistant coach at Weber State University. 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.
McInelly is excited about the prospects for the upcoming season. The Falcons will be returning all five starters from last year. In fact, the entire squad will be returning, including four seniors who will provide leadership to a solid nucleus of younger players.
Ardie McInelly's Career Head Coaching File: