BOULDER - Jennie Baranczyk, a University of Colorado assistant coach the past two seasons, has resigned her position to become the head women's basketball coach at Drake University.
Baranczyk, 30, takes over for Amy Stephens who resigned in March after leading the Bulldogs to a 151-130 record over the past nine seasons. The Bulldogs were 18-16 in 2011-12, advancing to the Postseason WNIT after a fifth place regular season finish in the Missouri Valley Conference. It was Stephens who gave current CU head coach Linda Lappe her first full time position as an assistant at Drake from 2003-06.
A native of Urbandale, Iowa, Baranczyk was Lappe's first hire at Colorado, joining the staff on May 10, 2010. She served as the program's recruiting coordinator and assisted with opponent scouting, practice planning and pre and postseason workouts. On the floor she had an emphasis in the development of CU's post players.
"I would like to thank Linda, our coaching staff and administration for the opportunity to be at Colorado for the past two years," Baranczyk said. "We were able to start over and begin to build this program into what wanted it to be and I'm so thankful for that opportunity. "
She enjoyed an overall record of 39-30 with the Buffaloes, helping the team make the transition from the Big 12 Conference to the Pac-12 Conference in 2011-12. Her tenure included back-to-back trips to the Postseason WNIT, advancing to the quarterfinals both seasons.
"Jennie was an important part of our first two years at Colorado and her loyalty, commitment, and hard work have helped to point us in the right direction," Lappe said. "We are definitely disappointed to be losing a great coach and an even better person but we couldn't be happier for her and her family and know that she will be a great fit at Drake University. We wish Jennie the best of luck as she heads back to her home city."
Baranczyk played a leading role in landing a solid recruiting class in 2011, which included three key contributors in CU's 21-14 record this season. CU's 2012 class, which includes a pair of Top 100 signees, has been ranked No. 27 in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz.
"The hardest thing is leaving the players because they will continue to impact my life and a deeply care about each one of them," Baranczyk said. "I know they will be successful in whatever they do and I am so happy to have them touch my life and I hope I have touched theirs as well. Colorado will forever hold a special place in my heart."
Baranczyk arrived at Colorado after four seasons as an assistant coach at Marquette University (2006-10) as a member of Terri Mitchell's staff, where she helped the Golden Eagles to an overall record of 81-53 and four postseason tournament appearances. She began her professional coaching career with a two year stint at Kansas State University (2004-06) under Deb Patterson and was a full-time assistant coach during the 2005-06 campaign as the Wildcats finished 24-10 and won the Postseason WNIT championship. Baranczyk also earned her master's degree in counseling and student development from Kansas State in 2006.
Formerly Jennie Lillis, Baranczyk was a four-year letterwinner at forward for the University of Iowa (2000-04). One of the best all-around players in Hawkeye basketball history, she was a three-time All-Big Ten Conference selection, earning first team honors as a junior (2003) and second team recognition as a sophomore (2002) and senior (2004).
One of only two Iowa players to collect better than 1,700 points and 800 rebounds in a career, Baranczyk helped the Hawkeyes to the 2001 Big Ten Tournament Championship and four postseason appearances, including three NCAA Tournament bids (2001-02, '04).
Baranczyk graduated from Iowa in 2004 with her bachelor's degree in communication studies. She was the recipient of the 2004 Big Ten Conference's Medal of Honor and was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten pick.
"Drake is a special place to me; it is coming back home," Baranczyk said. "It was more than a quest to become a head coach. Although it is hard to leave such a great place in Colorado, having been away for so long and to be able to come home is a hard thing to pass up."
Jennie and her husband Scott Baranczyk are expecting their first child in May. (Last name pronounced Bah-rahn-check).