Tory Verdi - Women's Basketball - Kansas Jayhawks

Tory Verdi

TITLE Assistant Coach


An experienced coach at both the college and professional levels, Tory Verdi begins his second year with the Jayhawk coaching staff. Verdi works with the Kansas post players, while also having a large role in recruiting and scouting KU opponents.

Since arriving in Lawrence, Verdi has been instrumental in acquiring KU freshmen Asia Boyd and Chelsea Gardner. Boyd was the 39th-best player in the country in the 2011 recruiting class and top player to commit to the Jayhawk program under head coach Bonnie Henrickson. Gardner comes to KU after being named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) All-State Team in 2010-11, the same year the forward was named her district’s defensive player of the year.

Before coming to KU, Verdi spent five seasons at former Big 12 foe Nebraska from 2005-10 as the offensive coordinator and post players’ coach. 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. The forward left the program as the Huskers’ second-best rebounder and ranked No. 3 on the career scoring list. She also ranks in the top 10 for career scoring average and blocked shots.

Verdi’s guidance also extended over All-Big 12 performers Cory Montgomery and Danielle Page. When Griffin missed the entire 2008-09 season with an ankle injury, Montgomery stepped up to carry the load for the Huskers inside. Verdi helped develop Montgomery’s game under the basket as she went on to rank among the top 10 players in the Big 12 in both scoring and rebounding that season and was recognized by the league as an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection. Following her senior season in 2009-10, when she was named to the All-Big 12 First Team, Montgomery left Nebraska as the school’s No. 12 all-time scorer and 13th-best rebounder.

Page was also an eventual WNBA player who worked under Verdi’s direction. After earning All-Big 12 Honorable Mention accolades in 2007-08, Page spent the 2008 WNBA season with the Connecticut Sun.

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.

Before taking his position at Columbia, 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.

Verdi and his wife, Heather, have two sons, Tyler (6) and Bradyn (1), and a daughter Avery (3).