Two from the Big Ten (Written by Chantel Jennings):
Carly Thibault-Dudonis, Minnesota associate head coach
In her third season with Minnesota as the main assistant for Lindsay Whalen’s rebuild, Thibault-Dudonis is getting a first-hand look at the building blocks of “the process.” The good sign is Minnesota’s recruiting is on the upswing. The Gophers signed three four-star players in the 2020 and 2021 classes. A cursory glance through Thibault-Dudonis’ Twitter timeline shows a coach who understands social media better than many, which is a skill not to be overlooked in today’s recruiting landscape. And though Thibault-Dudonis will always be connected with her dad — Washington Mystics coach Mike Thibault, who drafted Whalen to the Sun in 2004 — she is making her own name in the coaching profession.
Rhet Wierzba, Indiana associate head coach
The 39-year-old Wierzba got his official start in coaching as an assistant at Mercer in Georgia. For the majority of his career since then, the Illinois native has made inroads in the Midwest, with stints as director of operations at Maryland, assistant coach at Indiana State and now associate head coach at Indiana. Teri Moren is the face of Indiana, but people across the country see Wierzba and his ability to develop post players as a big reason why the Hoosiers have become a top-25 program. Given Wierzba’s Midwestern roots, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in the mix for a Big Ten gig or the right mid-major opportunity.