Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Lora Westling, Member of WU's 2005 National Title Team, Enjoying Coaching Career at Illinois College

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Lora Westling, Member of WU's 2005 National Title Team, Enjoying Coaching Career at Illinois College

Article excerpt

Somewhere in the middle of her standout basketball career at Washburn, Lora Westling got the itch to pursue a career in coaching.

A decade after helping the Washburn women's basketball team win the 2005 Division II national championship, Westling is trying to establish a winning culture with another group of Lady Blues.

Westling, a senior guard on WU's title team, is entering her third year as women's basketball coach of the Lady Blues at Division III Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill.

"I came (to Washburn) studying business and wanting to do something that way," Westling said. "Around my junior year, it just kind of stuck that (coaching) was the direction I wanted to go and be a part of making people better than they thought they could be, because that's what happened to me and that's what happened to a lot of my teammates.

"Coach Mac (Ron McHenry) is probably one of the most passionate people about basketball that I know. You can't help but have it rub off on you. It's contagious, that kind of passion for something. (The passion) is still growing today. I love what I do and I'm very grateful to Washburn for kind of showing me that path."

Westling and the rest of the 2005 championship team will be inducted into the Washburn Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday morning. Former Ichabod quarterback Joe Schartz and golfer Dave Carson will also be enshrined.

"I think everybody keeps repeating this, but I can't believe it's been 10 years since the championship season," Westling said. "It was a special group of people then, and it's a special group of people now. More than anything, we're really looking forward to getting together again and catching up. That's just kind of a bond that sticks with you for the rest of your life."

Westling, a native of Casper, Wyo., started all 37 games for the 35-2 championship team, averaging 8.2 points and making a team-high 62 3-pointers. She was one of four seniors on the team to end their careers with a national championship, along with Carla Sintra, Juwanna Rivers and Alison Garrett. …

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