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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Kieger’s culture runs deep in third season

Photo by Maggie Bean
Marquette Women’s Basketball vs. Seton Hall in the 2016 BIG EAST tournament in Chicago, Illinois.

The Marquette women’s basketball locker room got a renovation last year. Walking through the locker room today, one of the most visible items is a sign that reads all the family rules of Marquette basketball. The sign was head coach Carolyn Kieger’s idea and is a physical example of how she has fully implemented her culture into this program.

Entering her third season, Kieger’s mark on Marquette basketball has been fully set. Beyond the locker room, she has instilled a culture she and the rest of the team believe allows them to have success.

“We have a phrase in our program called ‘set the marq’ and it’s basically what are our expectations, what does the culture look like, what is the atmosphere everyday and I feel like two years in, the marq has been set,” Kieger said. “Everybody knows what I am expecting everyday, everybody knows my vision and where I am trying to go and now it’s time quote unquote we say, ‘leave the marq,’ so I am excited to see what we can do and what we can leave here as Marquette’s women’s basketball program.”

If the culture of Marquette women’s basketball were defined in three terms, it would be hard work, competitiveness and family.

“When you watch our team, you want to know that we are the hardest-working team in the country,” Kieger said.

“It’s intense. It’s a winning culture. It’s run and jump, getting after it. It’s an exciting style of play,” Amani Wilborn said. “Not many girls’ teams, of course, play this style that is more running plays and offense, but just going and getting after it with speed and talent we have. I love it.”

Establishing the culture has taken time and McKayla Yentz, the only senior on the team, has seen the culture shift from the start until now.

“I have enjoyed the experience of being that person seeing Marquette go through a change,” Yentz said. “I think it is going in the right direction for sure. I think that this program is far from our potential, but we are going somewhere for sure.”

Part of the reason the culture allows for the players to feel comfortable and have success is the transparency they get from their coach.

“If we know what (Kieger) wants, we are able to hold ourselves to those standards,” guard Danielle King said. “It makes our work ethic better. … She pushes us to be our best and we all accept it.”

“We trust each other enough to work hard for the other person,” Yentz said. “We get along so well off the court that our chemistry just carries over so easily and that’s what you need in a cohesive team. So that’s why we have had the success that we have had and why we are going to continue to have that.”

With the culture set, now it is about having fun for Kieger.

“Honestly, I have never enjoyed coaching a team more than I have with these young ladies,” Kieger said. “Their chemistry is amazing, they love each other and you can see it everyday in practice, everyday in the locker room… They love having fun and basketball to them is their passion, so when you watch us play you are going to see them exuding what they love.”

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