Buffs bring back the Hall of Famer
BLOCK – A familiar face around the CU Events Center will be more of a constant fixture this season for the Colorado women’s basketball team.
The head coach JR Payne announced the hiring of Colorado Athletics Hall of Famer, Shelley Sheetz tuesday. She will play a non-coaching role as assistant head coach and director of player development.
“I’m very happy to be going back to my alma mater,” Sheetz said. “I feel like I’m coming home to where it all began. It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m so honored and grateful that Coach JR asked me to join the program and the University of Colorado .”
“We are absolutely honored to have Shelley join our team,” exclaimed Payne. “It’s not very often that a team can add one of the greatest players in their program’s history to their staff. There’s so much to love about Shelley and what she does. will add to our program but I believe the best thing is that she will finally make it be where her heart is Shelley has always bled Black & Gold and she can continue to contribute to help us build a baseball club championship will be amazing. I know she will be a huge asset in coaching our players both on and off the pitch and their comfort with her will allow that to happen seamlessly. As we all like to say, “It’s is a great day to be a BUFF!”
Sheetz, who spent last season as a radio color analyst on the Colorado Radio Network, returns to CU in an official capacity for the first time since his stellar career ended in 1995.
“Being around the team last season – I can’t thank Coach JR, the coaching staff and the players for letting me be part of such a memorable and historic season,” Sheetz noted. . “Coach JR has allowed me to be at all the practices, shoots, movie sessions and team meals. I have seen firsthand the attention to detail, passion and work ethic that went into been invested in the program to be successful.
“Being part of last season, I was able to get to know the players behind the uniform,” continued Sheetz. “At first, I think the players were a little nervous talking to me, but that quickly changed on my first road trip (Arizona State/Arizona). I remember it vividly. After filming at ASU, Frida [Formann] and a few players changed shoes and started joking with me. Frida asked ‘so when you were acting, how did you watch a movie? Was that on those VHS tapes? Everyone kind of held their breath to see how they would react, knowing that the dig was a sneaky way of saying I’m old – I like to say I’m “seasoned”. I said “yes, and actually I also had a great yellow Sport Walkman AM/FM cassette that I used to listen to all my jams and hype music before games”. After that, the floodgates opened with all kinds of questions.”
Sheetz capped a record career by being named CU’s first and only Kodak All-American after the 1995 season when she led the Buffaloes to a 30-3 record. That same year, she was also honored by the Associated Press, Basketball schedules and the USBWA, and was one of five finalists for the prestigious Naismith Award.
She finished her career as CU’s second all-time leading scorer with 1,775 points, a figure that is still fifth nearly two decades later; she is also second in steals (287), third all-time in assists (514), fourth in free throws made (425), eighth in free throw attempts (501) and second in goals on the three-point field (252), a number that finished as the Big Eight Conference’s all-time high.
Sheetz was a three-time All-Big Eight player on the first team, the only player selected three times in school history, and was a two-time team MVP and the Big Eight player of the year in 1994-95. She averaged double-digit goals in her four seasons, leading the team in her sophomore year, and was the second-leading scorer the other three years. CU was 106-21 in his career, including a 49-7 mark and three championship titles in Big Eight play.
After his time at CU, Sheetz played two seasons in the American Basketball League (1996-98) with the Colorado Xplosion and Portland Power. She also performed abroad with BTV Wuppertal (Germany).
Sheetz began her coaching career as an assistant at Washington State (1999-00). She made stops in San Diego (2001-05), Pepperdine (2005-08), Denver (2008-12 & 2020-21), Boston College (2012-15) and Loyola-Maryland (2017-20).
“What attracted me was the JR coach, the staff and the players,” added Sheetz. “When I left the team over a year ago, I received several offers to stay on as coach,” Sheetz recalled. “I wanted to take the whole year off. I played golf, I got to travel a bit and I was able to connect with Cory Lopez and do the color commentary for the team. I’ll never thank enough Cory for everything he did for me last year he was my road dog and we had so much fun.
“A lot of things had to line up for me to get back into the game. It had to be the perfect scenario. Having this opportunity to come back to Boulder and be part of CU women’s basketball again was the icing on the cake. I couldn’t imagine a better situation.”
Outside of coaching, Sheetz has worked for Under Armour, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, and Amazon.