West Aurora has named Teresa Waldinger as its new girls basketball coach replacing Connie Siljendahl.
Waldinger, an English teacher at West Aurora, has been the Blackhawks sophomore coach the last 14 years. She's coached in the West Aurora program for 18 years.
Siljendahl, West Aurora's varsity coach the past 12 years, is retiring from teaching and coaching at the end of the school year.
"I am very excited," Waldinger said. "It's been a long time for me to be coaching lower levels so I'm really excited to take the reigns."
Waldinger played basketball in high school at Bureau Valley and in college at North Central. She and her husband Tom have two children who attend Fearn Elementary School in North Aurora.
One advantage for Waldinger, who also coached the Blackhawks freshman team for four years, is how well she knows the West Aurora program.
"The kids have come through our feeder program since fourth grade so I've seen a lot of these kids going through the program," Waldinger said. "I love developing them. Tony Smith does a great job with our feeder program. They come in with a lot of skills. We just work to hone them a little. The kids are so great, they are hardworking, they want those challenges and to keep improving. I think that's what we are most excited about. We had a great team last year and we expect to build on that."
West Aurora went 19-8 this year, losing its regional opener to Oswego East 53-48 in a game it led by 22 points in the third quarter. Among the top returnees for the Blackhawks will be Dajour Miles and Keva Tomas.
"I think Connie has built a really great program and we're going to take that and go off that with a little twist of our own," Waldinger said. "All of the coaches really like that fast-paced man-to-man defense for sure but I think the main thing we have to teach these girls is when we don't have our speed we have to slow down and get some plays that can score for us."