Breaking News
More () »

Former Rocket Women's Basketball head coach speaks on this year's historic team

Saturday marked the first time the Rocket Women's Basketball team has won a game in the NCAA tournament since 1996.

TOLEDO, Ohio — For the first time since 1996, the Toledo Rockets Women's basketball team is advancing in the NCAA tournament after beating Iowa State in the first round on Saturday. 

WTOL 11 caught up with the head coach of the 1996 team, Mark Ehlen, to talk about coaching in March and how it feels to shock the world as an underdog in the tournament. 

It may be a part of the past for him, but the historical aspect of Saturday's victory for UT brings back memories for the former coach. 

He says being a coach was a big part of his life but he doesn't miss the stress that goes with it.

"I think about coaching every day, whether I miss it or not. Let's just say I can sleep better at night," said Ehlen.

The Toledo Rockets have been to the tournament 9 times, the last time was in 2017 when they lost in the first round to Creighton 76-49. 

Their last victory in the tournament was against Ole Miss almost 30 years ago in 1996.

Toledo was the number 10 seed, Ole Miss, 7.

Ehlen said a team has to have the mentality that they can win if they want to advance in the NCAA tournament. 

He said his squad back then had plenty of confidence.

"We thought we were pretty good. We were loaded. I think 4 out of the 5 starters are in the Toledo Hall of Fame right now so we knew we could compete," said Ehlen.

He said they did not know what to expect from Ole Miss and knew they were very athletic, but he said playing them on a neutral floor worked to their advantage.

As it did for the Rockets in 1996, the road will just get tougher for this year's squad as they try to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. 

But they have plenty of confidence too.

The Toledo Women Rocket's basketball team is now at a record 17 straight wins, the longest win streak in Toledo history. They'll go for 18, and their first 30 win season on Monday.

The Rockets will play 4-seed Tennessee on the host school's home court.

Before You Leave, Check This Out