Marisa Moseley, BU Women’s Basketball Coach, Departs for Wisconsin
In three years, her campus-wide impact off the court matched the team’s on-court success
Marisa Moseley, who in just three years turned the Boston University women’s basketball program from a middling Patriot League team to a conference contender and became a leading campus force for greater diversity and social justice awareness, is leaving to become the University of Wisconsin head coach.
“As an alum, I had the unique experience to fall in love with this place twice,” Moseley told BU Today. “I have such a larger affinity for it. The pride and reignited passion, leading this team, getting to recruit here, The players impacted my life as much hopefully as I impacted theirs. I grew as a coach and as a person. The community embraced me and I am just so grateful to come back and be a Terrier. As I’ve said, once a Terrier always a Terrier.”
Drew Marrochello, BU director of athletics, said he was grateful to Moseley, “for the incredible impact she has made on our women’s basketball program, both as a player and as a coach. She proved to be a tremendous leader on the court, turning our team into a Patriot League title contender and developing our student-athletes into some of the best players in the conference. All of us at BU are looking forward to following Marisa’s coaching career and we wish her nothing but the best in the future.”
Landing Moseley (CAS’04) was considered a major coup for BU when she came back to her alma mater from national power UConn in 2018, after being an assistant coach there for nine years under Geno Auriemma. And she didn’t disappoint, compiling a 45-29 overall record, 33-15 in Patriot League play.
It didn’t take long for the women Terriers, who had not had a winning season since 2012-2013, to turn a corner under their new coach. They finished the 2017-2018 season at 10-19, 5-13 in the Patriot League. In Moseley’s first season, 2018-2019, they went 15-14, 11-7 in the conference, and Moseley was named Patriot League Coach of the Year. Last year, the BU women jumped to 18-12 overall, 12-6 in league play, advancing to the Patriot League semifinals for the first time. They were scheduled to host Lehigh in the semifinals, but the pandemic forced league officials to cancel the tournament.
That turnaround heralded great excitement for the team heading into this year’s pandemic-shortened schedule, and the Terriers didn’t disappoint in the regular season. They finished 12-3 overall, 10-2 in the conference, and were a strong bet to win the Patriot League title and make their first NCAA Tournament since 2003 (when Moseley was a player on the team). But the season ended in disappointment on March 15, with a 64-54 defeat by Lehigh in the championship game, denying them an NCAA bid.
After that game, Moseley tweeted: “Obviously not the outcome we wanted, but so incredibly proud of the dynamic women of Terrier Women’s Basketball! We are so grateful to all of those folks who made this season possible…This was a crazy year, but I wouldn’t have wanted to do this w/anyone else! We will be back!!”
She has made an incredible impact on not only the program, but also my life, and I am so excited to see what this next opportunity has in store for her.
As impactful as Moseley was on the court, her departure (the news broke online Thursday night in Wisconsin sports media) will be felt more broadly across the BU community, where she was an outspoken advocate and ally for change. In addition to helping launch the BU Athletics Social Justice & Inclusion Committee, Moseley was also a founding member of the Patriot League Anti-Racism Commission.
For Black History Month in February, BU Athletics teams celebrated by playing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Black National Anthem, before a home game, and in particular, the women’s basketball team played it at every home game.
“I am so grateful to have had Coach Moseley and her staff for the last three years,” senior guard and captain Katie Nelson (CGS’19, Questrom’21) said Friday, shortly after Moseley addressed the team. “She has made an incredible impact on not only the program, but also my life, and I am so excited to see what this next opportunity has in store for her.”
Like BU, Wisconsin is banking on Moseley turning around a struggling program in the highly competitive Big Ten conference. The Badgers, who finished 5-19 this season, have not had a winning season since 2010-2011. They last qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2009-2010.
“I am thrilled to be a Badger and to lead this program back to great heights!” Moseley said in a statement about her new program. “Wisconsin has a rich and storied tradition of success in all its sports, and I am confident that our women’s basketball program will be joining those ranks in the future! I can’t wait to meet my team and get started! As soon as I arrived in Madison and met the people, I knew this was a special place where I could plant roots. We have a wonderful community behind us, and I look forward to connecting with all the faithful Badger fans! On Wisconsin!”