UCSB’s Henrickson announces retirement

After 38 years of coaching women’s basketball and 27 as a head coach, Bonnie Henrickson has announced her retirement from her position as the head coach of the UC Santa Barbara Women’s Basketball program. Henrickson led the Gauchos for nine seasons picking up 121 wins, ranking third all-time in program history for wins and winning percentage.  

“Bonnie has played an integral role in the growth of women’s basketball nationally,” Barsky said. “I’m deeply inspired by and appreciative of her dedication, service and commitment to developing and supporting student-athletes  as well as caring for the community throughout her career including her nine seasons leading our Gaucho program. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to serve with and learn from Bonnie. with mixed emotions, we celebrate her tremendous accomplishments and impact on and off the court. Thank you, Coach Bonnie.”

Henrickson had a successful career with the Gauchos, serving as the head coach for nine seasons. Throughout her time in Santa Barbara, she has amassed over 120 wins, coached 15 All-Big West selections, one Big West Freshman of the Year and an AP All-American. Additionally, she led the Gauchos to two Big West Championship games during the 2022-23 season and the 2016-17 season. Her teams have also found success in the classroom having earned a special mention in the 2022-23 WBCA Academic Honor Roll along with coaching a DI-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete Team selection and College Sports Communicators Academic All-District selection. 

Prior to her time in Santa Barbara, Henrickson coached for 11 seasons at the University of Kansas where she led the Jayhawks to two Sweet 16 appearances and five WNIT appearances. Including a WNIT Finals appearance in the 2008-09 season. Before her time in Lawrence, Henrickson spent her first seven years at Virginia Tech guiding the Hokies to five NCAA Tournament appearances and reaching the Sweet 16 in just her second season at the helm of the program. Henrickson secured 465 wins over her 27-year career producing a .553 winning percentage along the way. In total Henrickson reached the NCAA Tournament seven times over her illustrious career.

Henrickson was selected as an assistant coach for Team USA, which earned a silver medal at the World University games in Spain during the summer of 1999. She again took her coaching talents to the international stage the following summer as the head coach of women’s USA Basketball for the R. William Jones Cup in Taiwan, where she led the team to a gold medal with Sue Bird as her point guard.

In 2005, Henrickson was named the Carol Eckman Award winner, which is given by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association to recognize a “coach who exemplifies spirit, integrity and character through sportsmanship, commitment to the student-athlete, honesty, ethical behavior, courage and dedication to purpose.”

“I want to thank Chancellor Yang, John McCutcheon and Kelly Barsky for giving me the opportunity to be the head coach at UC Santa Barbara,” said Henrickson. “It has been an honor to be the caretaker of such a storied program over the last nine years. I am grateful for the players, coaches and staff who committed to the work it takes to achieve success. I will be a Gaucho for life!”

“Looking back at my coaching over the last 38 years is a humbling adventure. I have worked with the most talented, competitive and high-achieving young women and feel very fortunate to have been involved in a game that I have loved for so long. I am blessed to have so many colleagues, fans and donors that have impacted my life in such a positive way. I leave the profession with “family” all over the country and overseas to share stories and amazing memories with.”

UC Santa Barbara will conduct a national search for her replacement.


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