Tory Verdi Accepts Head Coach Position at Eastern Michigan
April 26, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball assistant coach Tory Verdi was announced as the new head coach at Eastern Michigan Thursday afternoon. Verdi resigned from his position with the Jayhawks after two years on head coach Bonnie Henrickson’s staff.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunity that Coach Henrickson gave me here at Kansas,” Verdi said. “The last two years have been unbelievable and this past season was probably the best basketball experience that I have ever had. Obviously it’s very difficult to leave, but I’m very excited for where I’m going.”
During his time at KU, Verdi helped the Jayhawks to back-to-back postseason appearances, including a return to the NCAA Tournament in 2012, their first trip since 2000, and saw the team advance to its first Sweet 16 in 14 years. In addition to recruiting and scouting, Verdi worked with the team’s post players, including 2012 all-America honorable mention forward Carolyn Davis. Verdi also played a large role in acquiring KU freshmen Asia Boyd and Chelsea Gardner. Boyd was ranked the 39th-best player in the 2011 recruiting class, the top player to commit to the Jayhawk program under Henrickson. Gardner played an instrumental role in Kansas’ postseason success averaging a double-double through three NCAA Tournament games when she was filling in for an injured Davis.
Verdi also helped develop senior forward Aishah Sutherland, who became an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection in 2012 and left the program as the school’s second all-time shot blocker and third-best rebounder.
Before coming to KU, Verdi spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Nebraska from 2005-10. While Verdi was on staff, the Cornhuskers completed their most successful season in school history in 2009-10, compiling a 32-2 record, a Big 12 regular-season title and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16. That same season, Verdi coached Kelsey Griffin to First-Team All-America status. Griffin, the 2010 Big 12 Player of the Year, went on to become the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 WBNA Draft after a decorated career at NU.
Prior to his stint at Nebraska, Verdi served as the acting head coach at Columbia University from February through April of 2005. He was the head assistant coach at Columbia from October 2004 until February 2005.
Verdi spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons as an assistant coach with the Connecticut Sun in the WNBA. He helped the Sun to the Eastern Conference title in 2004 and the Eastern Conference Finals in 2003. He also spent time working as a special assistant for the Sun during the 2005 season before joining the Nebraska coaching staff.
In addition to his professional experience as a WNBA assistant, Verdi served as the head coach of the Springfield Spirit in the National Women’s Professional Basketball League from October 2003 to April 2004.
Before joining the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun in 2003, Verdi served as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Western Connecticut State in Danbury, Conn. Verdi helped WCSU to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003. He also served as an assistant men’s coach at the University of Hartford from 1996 to 1997, after working as an assistant men’s coach at his alma mater, Keene State College in New Hampshire, from 1995 to 1996.
Verdi was born in New Britain, Conn. He earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Keene State College in 1996, before adding a master’s degree in computer technology from Hartford in 2003.