Eastern Oregon University > Mountaineer Magazine > Alumni Stories > A winning team

A winning team

Anji-huddleAnji Weissenfluh, ’94, hates to lose. But it’s all right because the long-time women’s basketball coach and athletic director rarely does it.

EOU’s all-time winningest coach and the CCC’s 2017-18 Athletic Director of the Year said she’s driven by a fear of failure more than a love for trophies. That humility grounds Weissenfluh, who said she’s grateful for the many supportive coaches and staff members in the athletics department.

“There are new challenges and rewards every day,” she said. “It’s result-driven, which adds pressure, but you get to see the outcome right away.”

Almost two decades as a coach and five years as Athletic Director haven’t dulled Weissenfluh’s passion for the game or the students she gets to know each season.

At the helm of more than 50 coaches and staff members in the department, Weissenfluh said the group is united by a competitive spirit and a willingness to pitch in.

“It’s not just me running the show, we have a good team,” she said. “Everyone helps, coaches, administrative staff, assistants, everyone steps up and fills the gaps. There’s no way you could balance coaching and being an A.D. otherwise.”

She said the balance is a tricky one, but her win percentage has increased since taking on the leadership role in addition to coaching. Kaki McLean Morehead, EOU’s head volleyball coach since 2007, has worked with Weissenfluh throughout her long tenure and said she appreciates having a leader who is also a teammate.

“Kids don’t care how much I know about basketball until they know how much I care about them.”

“She understands the demands of coaching and what it takes to be successful,” McLean Morehead said. “In her time at Eastern, she truly has done a great job of getting the athletic department all on the same page.”

Weissenfluh’s philosophy as a coach all comes back to trusting relationships and high expectations.

“Kids don’t care how much I know about basketball until they know how much I care about them,” Weissenfluh said. Anji-hug“I’m not an easy coach. I push our team and individuals, and I constantly want to get better, but they know where it’s coming from.”

Weissenfluh was a four-year starter for the women’s basketball team, and coached the first Mountaineer softball team for 11 seasons. Her own legacy mingles with the university’s as both grow in national acclaim.

“EOU has always made a strong commitment to athletics,” she said. “I’m grateful the university recognizes the value athletics brings to the community and the vitality it brings to campus.”

Student-athletes are retained at a higher rate than the general student population on campus, and athletics encourage a sense of pride that forms the foundation of school spirit.

Weissenfluh said she’s proud of recent investments in campus facilities. The new stadium turf and competition track promise expanded capacity for athletes and spectators alike.

Weissenfluh said increasing funding for scholarships, programs, staff and facilities are creating more opportunities for students to be part of EOU, and the new indoor fieldhouse widens possibilities even further. The planned structure will house an indoor track, climbing wall, lab and classroom space, as well as training rooms.

The Oregon legislature approved $9 million toward the project. While additional funds are needed, construction is set to begin in 2020. External events like trade shows and concerts could make use of the large gathering space, as well as athletic tournaments and EOU varsity teams.

But Weissenfluh still has a soft spot for the arena she’s spent most of her life in.

“There’s nowhere I’d rather be than Quinn Coliseum,” she said. “I’ve been walking into that building for 30 years. It’s been my home.”

And throughout those years, she’s opened her home to colleagues, community members and students. She’s developed an atmosphere that instills what she calls “the intangibles” — the values and principles that athletics impart to every person who comes in contact with the community Weissenfluh has built.

Season to season, her team is a winning one.Anji-champions


Win-Loss record: 437-149

Win percentage: .746

15 seasons of 20+ wins

11 appearances in the national tournament

11 CCC regular season titles

6 conference tournament championships

First head coach in program history to earn 100th career victory

Best season in program history with a 33-3 overall record (2012-13), and first team in CCC history to accomplish the feat

First NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championships victory

10 NAIA All-Americans

4 CCC Player of the Year honorees

23 All-Conference selections

School record holder for steals (227)