Penn College men’s basketball coach Geoff Hensley named to University of Norwich Hall of Fame | News, Sports, Jobs
Geoff Hensley is already delighted to one day take his 4-year-old son to Norwich University and show him Andrews Hall. This is where the Penn College men’s basketball coach spent the majority of his four years at Norwich University playing for the Cadets.
And when his son is old enough, Hensley will show him the banners hanging in the gym and let his son know that “These are the banners Dad helped put up.”
Hensley has been one of the main reasons the cadet program has undergone a turnaround. Before arriving at Norwich University, the team had won just five games. In freshman, Hensley and the Cadets won 14 games. Then they won 17 games. Then the cadets won 20. Add in a few conference championships and a spot for an NCAA tournament, and it’s easy to see why Hensley has a special place in his heart for his alma mater.
The Wildcats coach got the call that he has been selected as a member of the University of Norwich Track and Field Hall of Fame, and that’s something Hensley struggles to express to sum up properly his feelings.
âI’ve thought a lot since I got the call and it’s so hard to express how much it means to me. All the time, the energy, the countless hours of going to the gym, devoting my time and honing my craft to be the best basketball player I can be. It means so much, “ Hensley said. âI am grateful and grateful to my friends and family. Words don’t do justice to describe it. I’m very grateful.
Hensley got the call as he watched the NBA Playoffs and once Norwich University officials started talking to him he cried.
âI spent countless hours growing up in Cincinnati and going to Norwich and having a great four year career,â Hensley said. “It means a lot that all of this hard work, energy and passion is recognized for the commitment to the game.”
At the University of Norwich, he was titular for four years and twice captain. He has been named to all-conference first-team three times and won the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year award as a rookie in 2002-03. He is only the second Norwich player to win the Rookie of the Year award.
Norwich was a two-time GNAC champion with Hensley on the roster and the program’s only two appearances in the NCAA tournament were in Hensley’s four years.
Winning the conference championship is one of Hensley’s best memorable moments with the Cadets.
âWe were able to host the conference championship game in our gymnasium, so it was super exciting to welcome it and have the whole school come over and hang a banner. And yes, the second (momentous moment) was hosting this first round of the NCAA tournament in Norwich â, Hensley said. âI remember running out of the tunnel into the gym and the noise, you couldn’t hear your teammates, hear your coaches on the floor. Family and friends in the front row, it was a special place in my heart.
You won’t see Hensley’s name as one of Norwich’s all-time top scorers or rebounders, but that’s what Hensley has helped to do in his four years and change the schedule to explain why he is part of the Norwich Hall of Fame.
He transformed Norwich as a player and as a Penn College coach he helps do the same. He helped lead the Wildcats to the program’s first appearance at the NEAC playoffs in 2019-20, in which the Wildcats reached the quarter-finals.
âWe’re building a great program here, we talk a lot about family. As soon as the news broke and people found out, several players and other assistants or teammates, the people involved in the program contacted me to congratulate me and that’s what the families do â, Hensley said. âThey are always there to support each other and celebrate the successes of others. I am very proud and appreciate their support for me.