College Womens Basketball

Iowa State women's basketball coach Bill Fennelly dismissed from racial discrimination lawsuit

Former player Nikki Moody filed lawsuit last April

Iowa State women's basketball head coach Bill Fennelly. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Iowa State women's basketball head coach Bill Fennelly. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

AMES — Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly has been dismissed from the lawsuit filed by former player Nikki Moody, the school announced.

The Attorney General’s office notified Iowa State University on Monday of the dismissal, ending Fennelly’s involvement in the suit, which Moody filed April 15, 2016.

The document stated “THE PLAINTIFF, Nichole Moody, hereby dismisses Defendant William Fennelly without prejudice.”

Moody, a senior in 2014-15 and four-year starter for the Cyclones, alleged racial discrimination from Fennelly during her time at Iowa State that led to a “hostile education environment through racial harassment.”

At the time Moody — who is black — made the lawsuit public, Fennelly received an outpouring of support from other former players shortly after. His fiery demeanor on the sidelines and part of his hands-on, intense approach to the game stood out.

“I’m not going to deny who I am. I’m passionate,” Fennelly said last April in his first public news conference since the suit was filed. “I’m an emotional person. I am not the person I’ve been accused of being.

“As a head coach, I make decisions every day. Every decision I make, someone doesn’t like. I get that. But I know the kind of person I am. I know the kind of coach I am. Every day we show up and we work hard to make our players better citizens, better students, better players, so they’re ready to go on with their life.

“I love my job and I love everything about Iowa State.”


Fennelly received a contract extension last month that would see him as the ISU coach through the 2021-22 season. He has led Iowa State to all 17 of the school’s NCAA tournament appearances, including this season when the Cyclones earned a No. 9 seed and finished the season 18-13 overall.

In 22 years in Ames, Fennelly has a 465-236 record. His 28-year head coaching career, including his time at Toledo, makes his overall record 631-289 — placing him in the top 20 among NCAA active coaches.

A release from Iowa State said the Attorney General’s office “will continue to work directly with the plaintiff’s attorneys regarding the remaining claims against the University.”

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