The 2012-13 season was the fifth on the Wildcat bench for assistant coach Tennille Adams. She has been on Northwestern head coach Joe McKeown's staff since the 2008-09 season.
"Tennille brings a wealth of experience to the Northwestern basketball family," Head Coach Joe McKeown said when Adams was hired. "Her ability to recruit, teach and motivate are her strongest assets. As a player who helped Arkansas reach the Final Four and a coach at the Division I level, she has a great work ethic. As a native of East Chicago, Indiana, she also has strong recruiting ties to the Midwest."
"These last five seasons at Northwestern have been a truly dynamic experience," Adams said. "Our student-athletes are a joy to work with and have truly set the bar for what it means to succeed as student-athletes. I've had the pleasure to learn and grow as a coach from a future hall of famer in Joe McKeown. To prepare top-notch athletes at an academic institution like Northwestern and to work with a highly-respected coaching staff has been a remarkable experience that has enabled me to excel as a coach."
In her first five seasons in Evanston alongside McKeown, Adams has helped transformed the culture of the women's basketball program. The Wildcats achieved a program first during the 2012-13 season as Maggie Lyon was crowned the Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the conference coaches and media. Lyon was the first Wildcat to receive the conference's rookie of the year award and one of four NU players to achieve All-Big Ten status along with Kendall Hackney, Dannielle Diamant and Karly Roser.
The Wildcats entered the 2011-12 campaign following the best back-to-back seasons in nearly 15 years. Combined, the 2009-10 and 2010-11 campaigns yielded 37 victories, two postseason appearances and milestone wins over nationally-renown Ohio State, LSU and DePaul.
On the individual level, 2010-11 marked the first time a Wildcat was selected in the WNBA draft as Amy Jaeschke was the 27th pick overall by the Chicago Sky. Jaeschke turned in not only one of the best seasons in Wildcat annals, but also one of the most storied careers. In the Northwestern record books, she finished her career ranked first in blocks and second in scoring and in rebounding. Jaeschke also was tabbed an Associated Press honorable mention All-American, marking the first time since 1998 that a Wildcat appeared on the prestigious list.
Northwestern's improvement from 2008-09 (7-23) to 2009-10 (18-15) was tied for the 10th best turnaround in the nation and ranked fourth among BCS schools. In winning percentage comparison, the Wildcats' above-.500 mark (.545) was a 31.2 percent improvement from last season. The success yielded NU's first postseason appearance in 13 years and a ticket to the WNIT, which led to two victories and a trip to the event's round of 16.
Prior to arriving in Evanston, Adams coached at American University where she was responsible for all aspects of recruiting. She also was involved in the development of post players and the point person for academic affairs and external relations within the basketball program.
Adams, a standout at the University of Arkansas, began her coaching career in 2004 as an assistant at Lon Morris Junior College in Jacksonville, Texas, before taking a similar position at North Carolina A&T State. She spent two years with the Aggies in Greensboro, N.C., before making the move to Washington D.C.
As a student-athlete at Arkansas, Adams was a member of the 1997-1998 Final Four team and the 1998-99 WNIT Championship team. On an individual level, Adams was ranked in the top five post players in the nation and as one of the top 50 seniors by Blue Star.