Out of all of the wins to select from, Teri Rodgers most memorable moment as Recent Trier’s girls basketball coach got here in a loss, in keeping with Eric Duffett, who was on Rodgers’ staff for 11 seasons.
In a 2015 state semifinal, the Trevians were run over by Fremd, losing by nearly 30 points to crush their championship hopes in emphatic fashion. Duffett said what happened within the immediate wake of that loss was unforgettable and exemplifies why Rodgers has reached remarkable success.
“We just got our hearts ripped out. Nobody really wanted to point out up the following day to play basketball (within the third-place game). We felt embarrassed,” Duffett recalled. “The way in which (Rodgers) … connected with each person and got them to reset and got us to grieve together and bond through that have — it was probably the most incredible display of constructing a team that I actually have ever seen.”
The Trevians responded with a gritty 42-40 victory to say a third-place finish. The moment is one in all countless highlights on Rodgers’ resume, and the win is one in all 600 in her illustrious profession as of Tuesday, Feb. 6, when Rodgers and company bested Maine East to achieve the milestone.
Rogders (right) along with her daughter Norah and mother Barb following the victory.
Rodgers was stuck on 599 wins for greater than two weeks, as Recent Trier valiantly competed through a difficult four-game stretch, but on Tuesday the result was never truly doubtful. And when the ultimate buzzer sounded, the Trevians community — which that evening included Rodgers family and friends together with Recent Trier fans and players — burst into celebration within the Winnetka gymnasium.
The moment was emotional for Rodgers, who said the notable win inspired nostalgia about her first Recent Trier team in 1997 and each program contributor since.
“I feel in regards to the first team I had — a special group of ladies — and to bookend it with this group is just really special,” she said. “All the children I’ve been fortunate to teach and the people I’ve gotten to do it with, I feel like I actually have the perfect job on this planet, attending to work with kids, getting to teach a game I like and attending to work with the staff I’ve worked with, I’m pretty rattling lucky.
Rodgers was a multi-sport highschool star at Libertyville High School before playing hoops at Duke University. Out of faculty, she became a teacher and assistant basketball coach at nearby Niles North High School before becoming Recent Trier girls head coach in 1997.
In her 26 head-coaching seasons, Rodgers has averaged 23 wins a yr to only 8.7 losses — a winning percentage of 72.5%. Her teams have won no less than 30 games five times and have collected 14 regional titles, eight sectional crowns and three state trophies (2001, 2004, 2015).
Rodgers is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and earned the IBCA’s Derril Kipp Courage Award in 2023 for her influential role as an envoy and advocate for girls’s athletics. She is a co-founder of the women-centered Grow the Game Showcase.
With signs and banners, Recent Trier fans congratulate Teri Rodgers on the milestone win Tuesday.
Simply put, Rodgers is a girls basketball giant. Recent Trier senior KJ Saccaro said the coach’s fame precedes her in local basketball circles. Saccaro fondly remembers when Rodgers spoke along with her mother during a basketball tournament when Saccaro was in seventh grade.
“I used to be like, ‘What did she say? What did she say?’” Saccaro recalled asking her mom. “I all the time wanted her approval.”
Saccaro said the coach has not dissatisfied. She said Rodgers is all about “the method,” preaching doing things the proper way on and off the basketball court. It’s something Saccaro has appreciated in her time within the Recent Trier program.
“It’s awesome to be a part of her team. … I feel protected being coached by her,” she said. “She’s also all about relationships along with her players. She takes the time to construct relationships with every player, whether or not they play the entire game or don’t step foot on the court. … Her office is all the time open. We spend loads of time in there. It’s just been great to be coached by someone like her.”
“The method” has all the time been a component of Rodgers’ coaching profile but hasn’t all the time been the first driver of success. She said like most young coaches, when she first started off, winning and competing occupied loads of mindshare. Nevertheless it didn’t take long for that to shift.
Rodgers works along with her players during a timeout on Tuesday, Feb. 6.
600 wins later, Rodgers will get texts from former players with updates or funny anecdotes. A bunch of former Trevians recently texted that they were all on a vacation together, and to Rodgers, “That’s what it’s all about.”
“The wins are great. I like to win. I’m competitive,” she said, “nevertheless it’s all the time been in regards to the process and doing things the proper way and not only on the basketball court — within the classroom, how we conduct ourselves and the way we treat each other.
“The wins are fun, nevertheless it’s in regards to the process, in regards to the relationships. … So 600 to me means all these kids I got to teach and all these people I got to teach with.”
Toppling Maine East for No. 600
Recent Trier’s Sela Klein (2) blocks a shot during her team’s victory on Feb. 6 in Winnetka.
Rodgers made special note of this season’s senior leaders, who played vital roles in getting Rodgers to 600 victories.
In No. 600, senior Sela Klein got the Trevians off and running with 12 of her team-high 21 points in the primary quarter. Klein added 6 rebounds and a couple of blocks.
Senior Charlotte Dellin chipped in 13 points with 5 rebounds, while Reese Leahy added 10. Marley Meyers, also a senior, grabbed 7 rebounds, including 5 on the offensive glass. Saccaro finished with 4 points and three rebounds. Other seniors are starting wing Erin Floyd and Siena McDermott.
Rodgers said it was special to achieve the milestone with this group.
“They’re great teammates. I feel that’s what makes this group special,” she said. “They’re relationship kids and that’s what’s most significant to them. They like to play the sport they usually like to play for one another.”
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