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Cedar Rapids native Shelley Sheetz is most comfortable in her role as an assistant
‘You move over six inches to where the head coach sits, and that seat is on fire,’ said Cedar Rapids native, a ‘special assistant to the head coach at Colorado
SEATTLE — Don’t bother contacting Shelley Sheetz to gauge her interest in a women’s basketball head-coaching job.
“I’ve had some calls, search firms and all of that, but I don’t want to waste anybody’s time,” she said Thursday.
There’s just no interest in being a captain. Life as a lieutenant is just fine for the Cedar Rapids native.
“I like my role, the developmental side,” Sheetz said. “You move over six inches to where the head coach sits, and that seat is on fire.”
Sheetz’s official title at Colorado is special assistant to the head coach/director of player development. It’s a similar role to that which Jenni Fitzgerald holds at Iowa.
“I pretty much do everything but recruit off-campus and coaching on the court,” she said.
A 1991 graduate of Kennedy High School, Sheetz played for the Buffaloes through 1995.
Her list of assistant-coaching jobs is extensive: Washington State (1999-2000), San Diego (2001-05), Pepperdine (2005-08), Denver (2008-12), Boston College (2012-15), Loyola-Maryland (2017-20) and Denver again (2020-21).
Now, she’s at her alma mater for the first time.
“(Head coach) JR (Payne) has been trying to get me here for a few years,” she said. “The timing wasn’t there for me, then it wasn’t there for her.”
As a player, Sheetz led the Buffaloes to the Elite Eight in 1993.
“I said in August that this team reminds me a lot of that 1993 team,” Sheetz said. “We have the pieces. What is our mentality going to be?”
Well, what is it?
“We play some defense,” Sheetz said. “Our guards can ‘D’ up. We hang our hat on defense. Our kids are hard-nosed.”
Fresh off a road upset of 13th-ranked Duke in the second round, No. 21 Colorado (25-8) faces No. 3 Iowa (28-6) in a Seattle Region 4 semifinal Friday at Climate Pledge Arena.
Tipoff is 6:30 p.m. (Iowa time).
“I grew up a Hawkeye, and I’ll always been a Hawkeye at heart,” said Sheetz, 50. “But not for these 40 minutes.”
Sheetz did not develop the Buffaloes’ scouting report for Friday’s game.
“Like everybody says, Caitlin (Clark) and Monika (Czinano) are a two-headed monster,” she said. “We have to deal with that.
“It’s a very talented team.”
‘In a matter of hours, it really took off’
Gabbie Marshall is making NIL money now, and has Katie Abrahamson-Henderson to thank.
In the wake of Iowa’s second-round victory over Georgia, in which Marshall canned five 3-pointers in eight attempts, Raygun designed a T-shirt in her honor.
“Pretty Eyes. Defender. Sniper.”
This started Saturday, when Abrahamson-Henderson — a former Cedar Rapidian and the Georgia head coach — referred to Marshall as “the cute little one with the eyes ... cute eyes, pretty eyes.
“(Marshall is) a really good defender and just — I would consider her besides Caitlin a sniper.”
Marshall said that the T-shirts “in a matter of hours really took off.
“You look around, and see people wearing your shirt with your name on it, and it makes it all worth it.”
Marshall said that she gets 20 percent of sales from the T-shirts.