Chris Mennig joins ASU women's basketball coaching staff
The Arizona State women's basketball program announced that Chris Mennig has joined the Sun Devil coaching staff.
Mennig joins the Sun Devil program after serving for six years as a national evaluator and event coordinator for U.S. Junior Nationals (USJN) & Blue Star Basketball both owned by grassroots pioneer Mike Flynn. USJN is one of longest running event operating companies in girls' basketball and Mennig directed more than 20 tournaments across the country last year. Blue Star Basketball is the longest running national scouting service organization that ranks & evaluates girls' basketball players across the country for colleges/media.
Parallel to his time with USJN/Blue Star, Mennig also coached girls' basketball at The High School of St. Thomas More (Champaign, IL). During his time at STM he led the program to four conference titles, including a 37-game conference win streak, three state Regional Championships, a state ranking as high as No. 5 for Class 2A, and was named IBCA coach of the year for his district in 2010.
"I think one of the lost pieces in this profession is the underlying theme... ` to serve others'," said Mennig, who has been a member of the McDonald's All-American Committee the last four years. "So when our governing body president [WBCA President Charli Turner Thorne] and Joseph [Anders] reached out to me and asked to help out their program during [Charli's] time away, how could I say 'no?' This is an incredibly humbling opportunity to assist them and help continue the winning tradition they have established. This will be a fun change of pace from my most recent venture and I'm sure it will get my 'juices flowing' working with elite level athletes again. I'm looking forward to 'rolling up my sleeves' and joining Joseph's staff to help out in any way I can."
"I could not be more pleased to announce the addition of Chris Mennig to our staff," said ASU interim head coach Joseph Anders. "I have known Chris for nearly 20 years. He has always demonstrated a real love for the game of basketball and has always been active in doing whatever he can to encourage the growth of the game. I remember watching Chris during the Assistant Coaches' Round Table presentation during the Final Four many times. He was always well prepared and always had a wealth of information to share with others. I am very grateful that he would choose to join us at this time and I look forward to working with him this season."
Mennig is no stranger to the world of major women's college basketball as he spent 11 years as an assistant and was a runner-up for St. Louis University's head coaching position in the spring of 2005 before joining USJN/Blue Star.
Mennig's most recent college coaching appointment came at the University of Illinois where he spent two seasons (2003-05) as an assistant under former Olympic head coach and Hall of Famer Theresa Grentz. During his time at Illinois, Mennig, who served as co-recruiting coordinator, was instrumental in helping the Illini program secure a pair of Top 25 signing classes, including a class that was ranked as high as No. 19 in 2004. On the court, Mennig had the opportunity to work with several players who would go on to play professional basketball either in the WNBA or overseas.
Prior to his time with Illinois, Mennig spent two seasons as an assistant at Illinois State University, where he led the program's recruiting efforts. He played a major role in landing 2002 Missouri Valley All-Conference and All-Rookie Team selection Katie Donovan from Canada as well playing a pivotal role in the signing of two of the nation's Top-20 junior college position players and a Top-50 high school shooting guard. The well-rounded classes also included the two tallest players in ISU history - Zora Skrabalova and Katie Ward. Those players went on to help the Redbirds have the 11th ranked turnaround in the nation and more than double their win total.
Mennig had two more stops prior to arriving in the Midwest, serving as assistant at both Brown University (1997-98) and St. Bonaventure University (1998-2001). While at St. Bonaventure, Mennig helped sign some impressive classes, which included the top junior college scorer in the country (Eva Kadlavova) and the 2002 Atlantic Ten Rookie of the Year (Stefanie Collins). With those recruits, the Bonnies nearly doubled their win total and had one of the Top 30 turnarounds nationally.
A honors graduate of Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I., Mennig started coaching even before he graduated from college, serving as a three-sport head coach at Lincoln Junior/Senior High as a 19-year old. Mennig joined the NCAA Division II Bryant College staff in 1994, serving as an assistant. The Bulldogs won the ECAC, reached the Top 25 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in those years. During his final year at Bryant, Mennig helped recruit the 1998 ECAC Division II Freshman of the Year.
A native of Munnsville, N.Y., and a Stockbridge Valley Central School alum, Mennig is one of the most respected camp directors in the country. In 2003 he was one of only five assistant coaches in the country to present on the topic of recruiting at the annual WBCA Convention. Then in the spring of 2004 he presented on the topic of Rebounding System at the WBCA Convention. Besides numerous camps & clinics he has lectured at The Recruiters Institute seminars as well. In 2003 Mennig also started his own side business/hobby for colleges to organize their recruiting - Easy Everyday Recruiting.