By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Staff Writer
March 29, 2022
(Cover photo courtesy Eleanor Guinan/Illinois Athletics)
The first branch of the Shauna Green coaching tree has been formed as a member of her Illinois staff has been hired as a Division I head coach.
Ryan Gensler, who served as an assistant coach under the leadership of Green at both Dayton and Illinois, has officially been named the next head women’s basketball coach at Akron.
In his lone season in Champaign, Gensler was part of a staff that saw Illinois to reach its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance and first since the 2002-03 campaign. Gensler was Green’s first hire after getting the Illinois job on March 21, 2022.
“I am absolutely thrilled to join the Akron Zips family," Gensler said in a university statement. "I want to thank President Gary L. Miller, Director of Athletics Charles Guthrie and the team of administrators for their confidence in me to lead this program. We will work tirelessly to help our student-athletes compete with a championship mentality on the court, in the classroom, and in the Akron community."
Gensler’s hiring is subject to approval by the university's Board of Trustees.
“Our goal is to build and sustain a championship-caliber program that contends for MAC titles and NCAA Tournament berths on an annual basis,” Akron athletics director Charlie Guthrie said in a statement. “I believe that Ryan brings the vision, experience and deep roots in Ohio that will allow the Zips to reach new heights. "More importantly, during the process Ryan demonstrated a strong commitment to develop well-rounded leaders on the court and in the classroom.”
Gensler served primarily at Illinois as the recruiting coordinator for the program and, on the court, in charge of the frontcourt talent with the Illini. Gensler reunited with junior center Kendall Bostic, who he recruited out of high school when with Green at Dayton, and the 6-foot-2 forward was named to the All-Big Ten Conference Second Team after averaging 10.2 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per outing to go along with 51 blocks on the season. Bostic was one of two Illini to start all 32 games and racked up 12 double doubles on the season while shooting a team-best 62.9 percent from the field this season.
Gensler played a key role in the Flyers' recruiting efforts while working for Green, including serving as the staff's recruiting coordinator in his final season. During his tenure, Dayton twice secured the top-rated recruiting class in the A-10 in 2019 and 2020, while also inking the league's No. 2 class in 2018. The 2020 class also ranked among the top 25 nationally.
Nearly a decade ago, Gensler came to Dayton after spending two seasons with the Florida women's basketball program where he served as the program's video coordinator. Prior to his time in Gainesville, Gensler was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Loyola-Maryland from 2013-15, and an assistant coach at St. Bonaventure from 2011-13 – a stretch that saw the Bonnies capture the 2012 A-10 regular season championship en route to a Sweet 16 appearance.
This is the first staff attrition that Green has experienced since arriving in Champaign. Illinois associate head coach Calamity McEntire, who primarily worked with the perimeter players this past season, has taken on several recruiting responsibilities including monitoring the transfer portal for Green while the Illini were preparing for their 2023 NCAA Tournament First Four matchup with Mississippi State in South Bend, Indiana. DeAntoine Beasley was hired on April 12 after spending four seasons (2018-22) working with Green at Dayton.
I on the Illini - Guardians Vol 3 & Fast X Movie Reviews & Transfer Portal Update #242Read
IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular - May 19 Weekend (S2,Ep40)Read
I on the Illini - EYBL Update #241Read
IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular - May 12 Weekend (S2,Ep39)Read
I on the Illini - Big Recruiting Wins - Berry Wallace to Illini Women's Basketball & Trey Petty to Illini Football #240Read
Ked's Recruiting RoundUp - Illini Women's Basketball Transfer - Shay BollinRead
IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular - May 5 Weekend (S2,Ep38)Read
Sturdy for 30 with Brandon SimbergRead
I on the Illini - NFL Draft 2023 Illini Edition #239Read
IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular - April 28 Weekend (S2,Ep37)Read
Ked's Recruiting RoundUp - Mikey LewisRead
IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular - April 21 Weekend (S2,Ep36)Read
I on the Illini - Spring Game 2023 Review #238Read
Watch: Illini coach Bret Bielema reviews final scrimmage of springRead
I on the Illini - Marcus Domask & Jerrance Howard Discussion with Bucky Dent of the Southern Illinoisan #237Read