Tanya Warren is entering her 12th season as the head coach of the UNI Panther women’s basketball team. Warren is a three-time Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year and has guided the Panthers to league regular season titles in 2011 and 2016.
Warren has compiled an overall coaching mark of 205-153 – ranking her first all-time in victories in school history and No. 5 in the MVC. Warren, the longest-tenured active head coach in MVC women's basketball, enters the 2018-19 tied for fourth in MVC conference victories with Creighton's Jim Flanery (131).
Under her direction, the Panthers have appeared in postseason play in eight of the last nine seasons, including back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths in 2010 and 2011. She led the Panthers to the program’s first victory in a Women's National Invitational Tournament game during the 2012-13 season.
With Warren leading the way, the Panthers have also won two MVC Tournament championships (2010, 2011). UNI posted at least 17 overall wins and a top-half finish in conference during each of the last nine seasons. Warren has coached eight different all-conference selections and also instilled the word "student" into her programs, finishing in the top-15 in the country in team GPA in nine of her first 10 years as head coach.
UNI reached the MVC Championship game in each of the last three seasons under Warren. The 2017-18 Panthers followed their deep run in the conference tournament with their latest berth in the WNIT. Under Warren's tutelage, Megan Maahs earned All-MVC and All-Defensive Team honors while Ellie Howell received Honorable Mention All-MVC recognition.
Warren guided the Panthers to their third NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016-17. The Panthers posted 24 wins for the second consecutive season and earned the program's first at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. UNI was a No. 10 seed and played No. 7-seeded DePaul in Starkville, Miss. Warren coached Ellie Howell to MVC Sixth Player of the Year honors, which was the second for Warren and the Panthers. The Panthers also earned All-MVC honors for Madison Weekly, Howell and Megan Maahs.
In 2015-16, Warren coached the Panthers to its second regular-season MVC title, earning her third MVC Coach of the Year honor. The Panthers finished the season in the third round of the WNIT, suffering a one-point loss to eventual WNIT champion South Dakota. UNI recorded a final record of 24-11 and 15-3 in conference play, the second most Valley wins and second most wins overall in school history. She saw Madison Weekly and Amber Sorenson earn first-team all-conference honors. Weekly won MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.
She has coached the only two players in UNI history to score 600 or more points in a season in Jacqui Kalin (662 points in 2012-13) and Weekly, who had 618 points in 2015-16. She coached Sorenson and Sharnae Lamar to record breaking seasons in 2015-16, setting new UNI marks in three-pointers made (97 by Sorensen) and assists (195 by Lamar). Stressing defense and technique, the Panthers finished the 2015-16 season ranked in the top-15 in the country in turnovers per game.
UNI made its fifth postseason appearance during the 2014-15 season after earning a bid to play in the WNIT. UNI finished the 2014-15 season with an overall record of 17-15 and a conference mark of 12-6, starting the MVC season on a program-best four-game winning streak. Warren coached first-team all-conference point guard Madison Weekly and was at the helm to see Stephanie Davison be named the first MVC Sixth Player of the Year.
After the season concluded, Warren was awarded the unique opportunity to coach for her country after being named an assistant coach for Team USA at the World University Games in South Korea. During the month of July, Warren traveled overseas with Team USA for the tournament, eventually defeating Canada in the championship game for the gold medal.
Without a senior on the team, Warren guided a young, but experienced squad to a third-place finish in the MVC during the 2013-14 season. The Panthers finished 17-13 overall for the fifth straight season with 17 or more wins and 13-5 in conference play for their second highest conference win total in school history. She saw sophomore Jen Keitel named to the all-MVC first-team and four student-athletes named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete teams. Culminating the 2013-14 season was Warren winning her second MVC Coach of the Year honor.
She also saw the team earn the seventh-best GPA in NCAA Division I women’s basketball. The Panthers were named to the Honor Roll for the third consecutive season, including two seasons in a row in the top-10. The team also finished with the seventh-best GPA during the 2012-13 season.
The 2012-13 season showed promise for the Panthers with a young group of athletes. Warren helped lead the Panthers to a 17-17 season. Under Warren’s guidance, UNI made its fourth straight post-season appearance, playing in the WNIT and winning its first WNIT game in program history over the Marquette Golden Eagles. Warren culminated her sixth year as head coach by capping off senior Jacqui Kalin’s career with the Sioux City, Iowa, native winning MVC Player of the Year and MVC Scholar Athlete of the Year. Warren notched her 100th career win during the 2012-13 season when UNI defeated Evansville on March 3.
During the 2011-12 season, Warren led the Panthers to a 19-15 overall record and a 9-9 conference record. She guided the Panthers to their third straight postseason tournament appearance and to the WBI championship game. She coached a second team all-MVC selection in K.K. Armstrong and an MVC all-defensive team selection in Rachel Madrigal. Amber Kirschbaum was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete second team.
In 2010-11, she led the Panthers to a 27-6 overall record and a 17-1 Valley record as UNI completed the conference season five games better than the second-place finishers. UNI won the MVC Tournament for the second straight year, earning the school’s second NCAA Tournament appearance. She coached a pair of first-team all-MVC selections in Lizzie Boeck and Jacqui Kalin. Kalin was tabbed the school’s first-ever MVC Player of the Year. Kalin was also named the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and Erin Brocka earned a spot on the all-defensive team.
Warren led the Panthers to a historic season as UNI won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history in 2009-10. UNI finished 17-16 on the season, posting wins over three higher-seeded teams in the Valley Tournament to earn the automatic berth. Jacqui Kalin was named a first-team all-conference selection, and Lizzie Boeck was an honorable mention. Kalin, Boeck and Erin Brocka were also academic all-conference selections. The Panthers also finished the season with the seventh-highest team GPA in the nation.
In 2008-09, Warren led an injury plagued team to an 11-19 overall mark and a 9-9 record and sixth-place finish in the MVC. Junior Kim Wypiszynski was tabbed the league’s Newcomer of the Year, and she earned second-team all-conference honors. K.K. Armstrong was named to The Valley’s all-freshman team. UNI also finished with the sixth-highest GPA among Division I teams in 2008-09.
In her first season at the helm for the Panthers, Warren led a team composed primarily of freshmen and sophomores to a 13-18 overall record and an 8-10 conference mark and sixth-place league finish. UNI collected wins over eventual MVC co-champions Illinois State and Drake. Warren helped the Panthers take care of business at home, finishing with a 9-5 mark in the McLeod Center, including a 6-3 record against league opponents. Under Warren’s watch, Jacqui Kalin was tabbed the MVC Freshman of the Year, and the point guard also collected second-team all-conference honors. The 2007-08 Panthers also finished with the sixth-highest GPA among NCAA Division I teams.
Warren came to UNI after accumulating 13 years of Division I collegiate coaching experience. Warren previously served as an assistant coach at UNI for six seasons (1995-2001) under Tony DiCecco, and other prior assistant coaching stops included Creighton, Missouri and Iowa State.
Warren, a 1988 graduate of Creighton, returned to her alma mater in 2004 as an assistant coach. In three seasons with the Bluejays, she helped lead Creighton to a WNIT appearance in 2005 and the Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship game in 2007. Working as associate head coach, Warren was instrumental in developing Megan Neuvirth, the 2007 MVC Newcomer of the Year, as well as Sam Schuett, who was named to the 2007 MVC all-freshmen team. During her tenure at Creighton, she coached three all-MVC players.
Warren returned to Creighton after a three-year stint as an assistant at the University of Missouri (2001-04). In those three years, the Tigers made three postseason appearances, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2004. She also worked as the recruiting coordinator at Missouri, and she coached five all-Big 12 selections, two of whom went on to play in the WNBA.
Prior to her time at Missouri, Warren worked as an assistant at UNI from 1995-2001. She coached several of the best players in UNI program history, including Kelley (Westhoff) Jacobs. She also helped develop UNI’s then all-time scoring leader, Amy Swisher, as well as first-team all-MVC selections Allison (Starr) Pohlman, Alex Cook, Abbie Schutte, Kary Dawson and Katie Miller. Warren joined the Panther program in DiCecco’s first season, inheriting a team that won just four games the year prior. UNI improved its number of wins by at least three in each of the first four seasons under the new staff, and in 2001 Warren helped lead UNI to an 18-win season and its first postseason appearance when the Panthers earned a bid to the WNIT.
Warren’s first collegiate coaching experience was at Iowa State, where she spent one season as an assistant. Before joining the Cyclones, she spent two seasons as the head girls coach at Duchesne High School in Omaha, Neb., leading the team to its first state tournament appearance in the program’s history. Warren’s coaching career began with a four-year term as the head girls’ coach at Boys Town High School in Omaha.
Warren earned several accolades in her four seasons as a player at Creighton. She holds the CU record for assists in a career and a season. Her 228 assists in 1987 ranked 10th nationally, and she ranks eighth on Creighton’s career scoring chart with 1,566 points. She averaged 18.7 points per game in 1987, and she was named to the WNIT all-tournament team and was a Kodak District V selection that season.
Warren’s No. 10 jersey is one of two retired numbers at Creighton, and she is also a member of the Creighton University Hall of Fame. Her collegiate career followed an impressive career at Des Moines Lincoln High School, where she was eventually inducted into both the Lincoln High School Hall of Fame and the Iowa High School Girls Hall of Fame.