The Indiana University Northwest Athletic Department has announced that Ryan Shelton will step down as head women’s basketball coach. Shelton will continue to serve as the campus’s Athletic Director.
“I have been proud to lead IU Northwest women’s basketball for the last 14 years,” said Shelton. “It’s a bittersweet moment to leave coaching behind, however I look forward to continue strengthening the entire athletic program to ensure even more great student-athletes thrive here at IU Northwest.”
Shelton built a nationally recognized and contending women’s basketball program, which he led to 244 wins in 14 seasons, making him the all-time winningest coach in RedHawks’ history.
In those 14 seasons, seven of them featured more than 20 wins, six National Tournament appearances, and four conference championship titles. Shelton has also received multiple accolades, including the A.I.I. Coach of the Year four times (2009, 2010, 2017, 2019).
During Shelton’s tenure, IU Northwest players have been named Conference Player of the Year seven times, in addition to nine NAIA All-American selections (Sharon Houston four times; Megan Holland; Nicki Monahan three times; and Grayce Roach), two USCAA All-American selections, two A.I.I. Defensive Player of the Year selections, and three A.I.I. Freshman of the Year selections. He has coached three 2,000-point scorers and nine 1,000-point collegiate scorers.
The RedHawks have earned a total of 36 All-Conference selections and numerous National and Conference All-Academic awards under Shelton’s direction. In 2010-2011, Shelton led the RedHawks to back-to-back A.I.I. Conference Championships and NAIA National Tournament appearances.
IU Northwest had their best seasons occur under Shelton in 2017 and 2019. In 2017, The RedHawks won 25 games clinching a trip in the NAIA Tournament then in 2019, Shelton led the team to a school record 27 wins and their first ever NAIA Sweet 16 Appearance after defeating Dordt University in the Round of 32.
“It was a great ride and I am deeply grateful to all the student-athletes and coaches I have had the opportunity to work with while serving as the women’s basketball coach,” said Shelton. “I want to thank my family for the countless sacrifices they made to support me, along with the many players and dedicated coaches over the years. It was truly a team effort.”
Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19 during the 2020-21 season, Shelton’s last as coach, the team overcame early season-ending injuries and losing five of their top scorers. With only seven healthy players remaining, Shelton led the RedHawks to back-to-back upset road wins and to the CCAC Tournament semifinals.
“Together we achieved more than what many thought was possible while creating so many lasting memories along the way,” said Shelton. “I am looking forward to continuing to lead the advancement of all of our RedHawks athletic teams and programs as athletic director, and the continued success of the women’s basketball program with a new head coach.”
A search for the next IU Northwest women’s basketball head coach will begin immediately.CCAC NAIA