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South Dakota School of Mines women’s basketball program and head coach Barb Felderman is please to announce the addition of a new coach to the basketball program, a name that is all too familiar to the Lady Hardrocker basketball. Former SDM standout Ann Koneche (1996-99) has returned to South Dakota School of Mines as a new assistant coach
By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- The South Dakota School of Mines women’s basketball program and head coach Barb Felderman is please to announce the addition of a new coach to the basketball program --- a name that is all too familiar to the Lady Hardrocker basketball. Former SDM standout Ann Koneche (1996-99) has returned to South Dakota School of Mines as a new assistant coach.
“She just has a wonderful personality and obviously has a passion for basketball. Ann gave up her engineering degree (to be a coach),” said Felderman. “She worked hard and played hard as an athlete and does the same now as a coach. She is a great addition.”
Konechne will get a chance to utilize her degree after all, as the Kimball native will also teach couple classes in the SDM Industrial Engineering department.
“I would say it has kind of come full circle for me,” Konechne said about returning to Rapid City. “Returning to South Dakota Mines has given me the opportunity to eventually teach some engineering courses as well as coaching. I am able to do two of my loves.”
During her career, Konechne appeared in 126 games for the Lady Hardrockers. She also grabbed 624 rebounds, recorded 316 assists and had 81 blocks. She was a career 42 percent field goal shooter and also marked up 74 percent from the free-throw line.
Konechne was named All-American following her senior season at South Dakota Mines in 1999. She was a four-year starter for the ‘Rockers and a three-time All-SDIC honoree, and was also named to the All-NAIA District 12 Team twice.
She was named SDIC Defensive Player-of-the-Year and finished her career as the fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,654 points. She also shares the record for the most 3-point field goals in a game (6), owns the most 3-point field goals in a season (69) as well as in a career (153). In her four years with the Lady Hardrockers, she made it to the national tournament four times and to the Final Four twice. She was also a member of three SDIC championship teams.
Konechne received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. She earned a master’s degree in physical education from St. Cloud State University in 2004.
Konechne has plenty of coaching experience joining SDM. After graduating and leaving Rapid City, she was the head junior varsity coach at Dakota State and then an assistant for St. Cloud State. From there she became the head coach for the Dakota Wesleyan Tigers in Mitchell.
“We had a several all conference players while I was there. It was also a privilege to play in the Corn Palace,” Konechne said of her time in Mitchell.
As a Hardrocker once again, Konechne main duties will be recruiting.
“We need a little help in the recruiting area and that role fits here to a tee,” Felderman said.
“I made a lot of contacts as a head coach (for DWU) and I will focus a lot on recruiting and then have duties on the overall daily practices,” Konechne added.
Konechne will join the Lady Hardrocker staff with Felderman and assistant coaches Lori Coble and Maria Cadwallader. The Hardrockers are coming off a stellar 2006-07 campaign where the team finished second in the Dakota Athletic Conference, made it to the DAC tourney title game and ended the regular season with the No. 25 ranking in the nation.
“It is going to be great for me to be back here at South Dakota Mines. I will continue to learn from coach Felderman. I am again apart of the team, but now it’s in a different aspect,” Konechne said. “It’s very exciting to be back to a place that has given me so much in my career. I hope I can give back and help the Lady Hardrockers continue to achieve the success that they have always had.”
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