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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Former players and coaches come back to Marquette to support new head coach Cara Consuegra

Women’s basketball head coach Cara Consuegra’s introductory press conference took place on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Every seat was filled.

The entrance was lined with people on both sides of the door.

Current Marquette women’s basketball players sat in the front row, while program staff and alums stood along the back and side walls.

Everybody in, nobody out.

This was the scene at new Marquette women’s basketball head coach Cara Consuegra’s introductory press conference Thursday.

As Consuegra walked into the room, the cameras flashed and the applause began. She was greeted with high-fives, hugs and everything in between.

It was as though a local hero who spent the last 13 years away was back home — and not a single person was going to miss the grand return.

“We have former players here that were part of this, that I coached, that I knew, that played here before I was here,” Consuegra, who was an assistant at Marquette from 2004-11, said.

Part of that community was former guard Erin Monfre, who played four years in the blue & gold under Consuegra from 2005-09 and got a shout-out from Consuegra herself during the Q&A.

“I opened up Instagram and two minutes prior (the announcement) had been posted and I said holy sh—. I said the women’s basketball program, they don’t know who they’re getting,” Monfre said.

“I just felt it in my heart and soul that she is the right person at the right time for this job. I couldn’t be prouder. I couldn’t be happier. I’m really excited for this season.”

While Consuegra can win — she holds the all-time program record for wins (225) at Charlotte — she’s remembered by her players for much more than what happened on the hardwood.

“It was the connection that she had with me,” Monfre said. “She worked with the point guards and so she didn’t necessarily work directly with me, I was a shooting guard. And for me to be here 15 years later shows the impact that she had on me…

“I just remember the open door policy of her. I went through the passing of my mother when I was a player here and to be able to walk into her office at any moment and just be Erin and be vulnerable. She created that space for me. So that’s a memory I carry on forever.”

Cara Consuegra (left) now occupies former women’s basketball head coach Terri Mitchell’s (right) office. (Photo by Jack Albright)

Another visiting alum was former head coach and 2023 M-Club Hall of Fame inductee Terri Mitchell, whom Consuegra was an assistant for.

“I feel weird, real weird, being in your office,” Consuegra said with a laugh.

Mitchell made sure she was going to be on campus for the introduction.

“Marquette has made the most the best choice. Fantastic,” Mitchell said. “And I just know this program is in great hands because she understands.

“I always say Marquette is ‘if you know, you know.’ And she knows. She knows it’s a place about people, about community. And she’s going to do it right.”

Consuegra was abruptly thrown back into the Marquette community she was first embedded in over a decade ago, and immediately received everything that comes with it.

“I’ve actually heard a lot [from former players], I know there’s several here,” Consuegra said. “And then several, they’ve reached out on social media and posts and things of that nature. So it was very exciting to get those messages from people I’ve cared about a lot.”

Long after the introduction was over, Consuegra went around the room to mingle with everyone in attendance.

After all, seemingly everybody she knew from her first stint at Marquette had come back to support. So she made her rounds.

“This university is special, this community is special,” she said. “And we’re just so thrilled to be back here to be able to pour into this university, in this community, because it is so dear to us.”

Thursday wasn’t the first time Consuegra has experienced Marquette — and everyone coming back to see her was a reminder of exactly that.

This article was written by Jack Albright. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @JackAlbrightMU.

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About the Contributor
Jack Albright
Jack Albright, Executive Sports Editor
Jack Albright is a sophomore from Charlton, Massachusetts studying journalism. He is the Executive Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, Jack likes to hang out with friends and watch Formula 1. He is excited to write fun stories about all things Marquette athletics and oversee new types of digital content.

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