May 18, 2010
"Two things stand out immediately about Kathi. Her teams play extremely hard and are very, very grounded fundamentally. They have great defensive principles, and she gets the most out of her talent. (When coaching against Kathi) you knew it was going to be 40 minutes and you knew they were going be in a defensive stance for every possession of the game. They were going to do all the little things that good teams do, and no matter what you did that was going to be there.
"I think she'll have an immediate impact on the (Mid-American Conference). Her style of play is, I think, conducive for success. I think very quickly she'll be able to make it a very tough place to play at home. Her team will steadily improve throughout the course of the year and grow into a good road team."
- Jim Foster, Head Women's Basketball Coach, Ohio State
"Northern Illinois is very, very fortunate to hire one of the best coaches I know, and that's Kathi Bennett. Strong mind, strong character, great core values, and an unbelievable basketball coach. They've hired, in my opinion, one of the best coaches in the country. I have utmost respect for Kathi, and I thank her for her time with us at Wisconsin. I'm sorry to lose her, but I'm very happy for her and for Northern Illinois. Every place she's been, she has taken her program to the top.
"Our history, we played against each other in the high school state tournament. Then we coached against each other when she was at Oshkosh and I was at Eau Claire, and when I was here and she was at Indiana. I was just blessed to have her on my sideline for two years. She brought the best out in my team every night."
- Lisa Stone, Head Women's Basketball Coach, Wisconsin
"I think you couldn't have gotten a better person. She is an extremely knowledgeable person. She is passionate about the game, passionate about life, and has impeccable character. I don't think you could've gotten a better coach. The girls will love her. She'll be very buttoned-up. She'll be disciplined, but those kids will have a lot of fun and will learn from her. I think it's a great fit for your school.
"The Bennetts are all about programs, and all about their system. I think that she's bringing a system and a program to Northern Illinois that will last, a program that will endure time. There's one thing that Kathi will bring immediately, and that is a consistent personality. One that is demanding, yet understanding. I think that she is a tremendous coach."
- Debbie Ryan, Head Women's Basketball Coach, Virginia
"The one thing I can say without exaggeration is that she's an incredibly persevering person. She has had at least a dozen knee operations, had both knees replaced, come back from a head-on collision and never lost her zest, her desire, to get back to coaching. Though she sustained the injuries, she never lost her focus on what needs to be done. She's taught all of us how to deal with setbacks. We all deal with setbacks, especially in this profession, but she has experience and overcome setbacks in life.
"I've said this before, and people give me a look, but I've said it because I believe it. I believe Kathi is the best in the family. I have a brother Jack who won two national titles at (Wisconsin) Stevens Point, he's retired now. I have had a few accomplishments in 40-plus years as a head coach. Tony has been to the Sweet 16 and is at Virginia now. She teaches on both ends of the floor extremely well, she is a great recruiter, and, most importantly, she cares deeply for the kids she is coaching. Kathi brings an incredible caring attitude for the kids she coaches. That she has been through so much strengthens that."
- Dick Bennett, Father, Retired Head Men's Basketball Coach
"My sister Kathi had a significant impact on my basketball career as a player and even as a coach. I remember watching her work ethic and her toughness and seeing her become a great player. I watched her drive and her passion for the game. When you're a fifth or sixth grader that has an impact on you. I couldn't beat her in one-on-one until I was like 16. That's how good she was, and I was pretty good as a player.
"She will build up that program in the right way. Just as she is a person of character and integrity, she will bring in young women who are character young ladies to that program. That's how you have lasting success. That's how you build a program. You've got yourself a good one. I know I'm biased, but I promise you that. You just watch what will happen, it will be pretty cool I think."
- Tony Bennett, Brother, Head Men's Basketball Coach, Virginia