Online Press Room
McHenry County College's Karen Wiley Named Skyway Conference Newcomer Coach of the Year[Tuesday, June 02, 2015]
McHenry County College (MCC) athletic director and head women’s basketball coach Karen Wiley was named Skyway Conference Newcomer Coach of the Year. Criteria was considered for qualified coaches in their first or second year of coaching in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC). Conference athletic directors voted at the spring Director’s meeting.
The award will be presented at the ISCC Board of Control and Athletic Director luncheon at Waubonsee Community College later this month.
Under Wiley’s guidance, the MCC women’s basketball team had its best finish in the last six years and a 12-game turnaround from last season. They had wins over Skyway’s conference champion during regular season and defeated the number-one regional seed Black Hawk East at the Region IV tournament. Wiley’s team had two all-conference players, two all-region players, and two team members earned Region IV All-Tournament honors.
“I’m proud of our team and how quickly they embraced our vision,” Wiley said. “They steadily improved throughout the entire year, beating teams late in the season that had won previously. They remained focused on team goals, believing in possibilities and working hard each day. The program is growing and will continue to be successful building on these tenets.”
No stranger to college athletics, Wiley was athletic director at Kishwaukee College in Malta for 10 years. She also served as Kishwaukee’s head women’s basketball coach for 14 years.
While coaching at Kishwaukee, Wiley was the first coach to ever reach 100 wins in the program and earned national recognition from the WBCA with her team’s GPA. In 2013, Wiley was one of three finalists for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Russell Athletic/WBCA Junior College National Coach of the year.
As MCC’s Athletics Director, Wiley has pushed for even greater academic success for student athletes. MCC’s Women’s Volleyball Team, which finished second in the conference, had a team high 3.1 GPA, and three of eight teams were at a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or higher. Two teams were at 2.9. In addition, Wiley said 44 percent of student athletes earned Skyway Conference all-academic honors, 20 student athletes earned Skyway All-Conference Honors, and seven student athletes were honored with All-Region IV Honors.
“We have much to be proud of and look forward to an even brighter future for our student athletes,” Wiley said.
In a prior interview, Wiley noted that her students’ success is more important to her than all of the wins, awards, or recognition.
“Those things are nice, but they don't last,” she said. Rather, Wiley cares more about the kind of person her athletes become after they graduate—what they do with the tools and lessons learned. With a 98 percent graduation rate at Kishwaukee and currently a 96 percent retention rate, she has coached future doctors, lawyers, teachers, counselors, and coaches, and it’s not unusual for her to receive emails and phone calls from former students updating her on their lives.
“I know the season has been a success when players come back after two or three years, when I hear they remain goal-oriented, have found their passion, and continue to pass along the fire I may have lit in them,” Wiley said. “I am blessed to love what I do and do what I love.”
Wiley has a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and a Master of Science in Education from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. She began her career as a teacher and coach at Somonauk High School.