Stephanie Wheeler is the epitome of the athlete-turned-coach in the NWBA, having found major success in both realms. She has a very impressive coaching resume, having coached at the University of Illinois since 2009, the Under-25 USA Women’s National Team in 2011 and the U.S. Women’s National team from 2013 to 2016.
She has achieved at every level on and off the court. She has been an all-star and MVP in the Women’s Division. She has also won national championships as a player at two schools, University of Illinois and University of Alabama. Wheeler also is U.S. Paralympic gold medalist as a player in 2004 and 2008 and then as the head coach of the women in 2016.
In 2001, Wheeler made her first USA Developmental Team. In 2010 she was co-captain of the gold-medal winning World Championships team in Birmingham, England. Her achievements as a player are a mile long winning a total of four gold medals, two silver medals and numerous international championships across the globe. Wheeler transitioned from athlete to coach when she was selected as the head coach the 2011 USA Women’s Under 25 national team, where she led the team to victory at the inaugural event. She later earned the distinction of NWBA Developmental Coach of the Year.
Wheeler has been a key person in the growth of the women’s game in the United States. While at Illinois, she was part of the team that sought to find the toughest competition they could to prepare for international competition by competing in the Adult Division II of the NWBA and was part of the team that chose to go and compete in the men’s college division.
When she graduated from Illinois, she went down to Alabama to help a young Alabama program grow and develop. Currently, Wheeler is having continued success off the court and is on track to earn her Doctorates degree in philosophy from the University of Illinois. She was also inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.