Weissenstein inducted into Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame

Dan Chmielinski

WISEMAN: speaking to his team, head coach Steve Weissenstein instructs the Titans on their game play. Weissenstein has been head coach of the women's basketball team for 26 years.

David Zepeda and Ryan Larsen, staff reporters

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This past month, Steve Weissenstein, head coach of the women’s basketball team, was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Weissenstein has been coaching basketball at South for 28 years — 26 of those years having been spent as head coach.

According to Weissenstein, he has had many memorable experiences, specifically a game against New Trier during the 2003-2004 season.

“We were undefeated [that season], [New Trier] had a great team, and I mean the gym was packed… There were people standing around the court,” Weissenstein said. “This girl named Sarah Stutts made a shot at the buzzer, we were down one… Kids stormed the floor after the game, and I will always remember that.”

Although Weissenstein has won many other awards for his coaching, he thinks this induction is his biggest accomplishment so far.

“It’s probably the most prestigious award,” Weissenstein said. “I’ve been a district coach of the year several times, but as far as receiving an overall award, I would say, yeah, it’s pretty special.”

Weissenstein also credits his success with having talented athletes (who affectionately call him “Wise”) to coach.

“The bottom line is you have to have really good players, and I have been very fortunate to coach a lot of great players in the 26 years that I have been here,” Weissenstein said. “When you have good players, it makes it easy to coach. They work hard.”

According to junior guard Caitlin Morrison, Weissenstein pushes every player to achieve success to the point where they are happy with their game.

“He helps me come out of my comfort zone, [and] he’s always there,” Morrison said. “He works on every player, from the best to the worst. He wants you to be happy. He’s a very good role model.”

According to Morrison, Weissenstein enjoys devoting a lot of his time and energy towards the team so that they can do well.

“He puts in a lot of time for finding new plays for us,” Morrison said. “He’s really passionate about basketball. He focuses on the success of the whole team.”

Morrison also said that Weissenstein has a knack for recognizing strengths and areas for improvements in their game.

“At the end of the season, last year, we talked about how to approach the next season,” Morrison said. “Coach Wise pointed out our goals. He knew what each of us needed to work on and I thought that was really important for all of us because it helped us work on our weaknesses.”

Morrison elaborates on how Weissenstein was a large factor in motivating them to win their conference playoff game against rival New Trier last year.

“The most memorable game for us was last season–I was a sophomore–when we beat New Trier, it was our last conference game,” Morrison said. “At half time, we went into the locker room and we knew that we were playing very well. Coach Wise encouraged us to keep playing our best and to pull ahead so we could maintain the control of the game and win the game.”

According to Sydney DeHorn, junior shooting guard, Weissenstein has really helped to develop her three point shooting, working with her individually.

DeHorn feels that under the coaching of Weissenstein, along with some hard work, they could have a very good team next year.

“I think just getting a feel for each other, once again, really working really hard, and Wise motivating us to get better is going to help us for next year,” DeHorn said.

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