Home of the Illinois State Women's Basketball Camps
A cornerstone for the Illinois State Athletics program is beautiful Redbird Arena, which began operation in 1989. Many praise the arena, with a capacity of 10,200, for its excellent design, as the furthest seat from the floor is just 220 feet away.
Barb Smith was named the seventh womens basketball coach in Illinois State history on April 15, 2013, bringing 26 years of Division I collegiate coaching experience.
Smith brings a tremendous pedigree into her second head coaching job and is known as a prominent recruiter, with over 10 top-20 nationally-ranked classes.
With over a quarter century of coaching experience, Smith is a true student of the game and knows about the rich tradition of Illinois State womens basketball.
In her first year at the helm of the Redbirds, Illinois State was a preseason selection to finish eighth in the Missouri Valley Conference season. With a tough non-conference schedule, the Redbirds defeated Florida at the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport, Bahamas. The Redbirds topped the Gators, 68-64.
Lisa Hayden joined the womens basketball staff in May 2013, as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Hayden has spent 13 years in Division I womens basketball and brings a vast knowledge to the Redbird program.
Hayden worked with both guards and forwards throughout the 2013-14 season with an emphasis to improve consistency on the offensive end of the floor and maintain a defensive presence throughout the year.
Under the guidance of Hayden, four different Redbird guards contributed to 12 20-point performances throughout the season, while the forwards dominated the boards with the fifth-most offensive rebounds produced by the Redbirds in conference play. Throughout the 2013-14 season, Hayden focused the student-athletes on attention to detail while improving skill and efficiency on the court.
Redbird legend Cathy Boswell joined the Illinois State womens basketball staff as an assistant coach in August prior to the 2015-16 season.
Boswell came to Illinois State as a 16-year-old freshman and left as the schools all-time leader in scoring and rebounds. She has 31 years of competitive basketball experience, including 24 years of professional basketball. Most recently, Boswell was the head coach of the Tenerife Club in Spain for two seasons.
Boswell graduated from Joliet West High School in just three years, and the Shorewood, Illinois, native burst onto the scene in her first two seasons at Illinois State, leading the Redbirds to a 51-18 record, an AIAW State Championship and a WNIT bid. She eclipsed 1,000 points in her first two years and still holds the ISU freshman and sophomore records for scoring average, field goals and rebounds.
Brittney Marshall joined the womens basketball staff in June of 2015 as the coordinator of basketball operations.
With the Redbirds, Marshall works with the team managers and organzies scout teams that assist during practices. She also assists with team technology and coordinates community service opportunities. In addition, she also coordinates all apparel and works with special projects.
Marshall has five years of combined basketball experience working with collegiate and professional teams, as well as Womens Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). She has served as the director of basketball operations twice and an interim assistant coach.
Director of Basetball Operations
Katie Ehlen enters her first season as the director of basketball operations for the Redbird womens basketball program, after joining the staff in May 2016.
Ehlen previously worked with the ISU Event Management staff as a graduate assistant, starting in July 2014. She worked primarily with soccer, gymnastics, softball and track & field, as well as assisting with all remaining home athletics events. Ehlen then left the Redbirds to pursue an assistant coaching position at her alma mater, UW-La Crosse, for the 2015-16 season.
“We are so lucky to have Katie rejoin the Redbird family,” head coach Barb Smith said. “Katie has worked with and knows so many people already within the athletic department and across campus. She is very familiar with Redbird Athletics, has a tremendous work ethic and is very organized. She will be a great addition to our staff.”