Connie Yori

Connie Yori answers questions during a news conference Wednesday at Sokol Arena. Yori is joining Jim Flanery's (left) staff as a program adviser.

OMAHA — Connie Yori says she doesn’t have a desire to be a head coach again.

But she’s happy to be home at Creighton. And she’s happy to be involved in basketball again, even if it’s a "minor role.”

On Tuesday, Creighton announced the hiring of Yori as a program adviser for Jim Flanery’s women’s basketball team. On Wednesday, the former Bluejay player and coach spoke publicly for the first time since resigning as Nebraska women’s coach in April 2016.

"It’s good to be back," Yori said. "A lot of times things come full circle. That’s kind of what happened here."

Though she is returning to basketball, Yori said she has no intention to coach again.

"I’m not seeking to get back in it," she said. "I really like the opportunity to be involved but not to have the time commitment as I once did."

Yori resigned from her post at Nebraska on April 5, 2016, after leading the Huskers to their most successful era on the hardwood. NU averaged 20 wins in 14 seasons under Yori, and made seven NCAA Tournaments, including two Sweet 16 appearances. She finished with a school-best 280 career wins.

On Wednesday, Yori said the decision to resign was her own.

"I had the choice to stay at Nebraska and I chose to leave, largely because I wanted that family time and the time to spend with my son Luke and with my parents," she said.

Yori's resignation — which came during divorce proceedings — also occurred after a university investigation into allegations of mistreatment of players and staff members. Then-athletic director Shawn Eichorst told the Journal Star at the time, "We are aware of the allegations involving our women’s basketball program and since it is an employee personnel matter and involves our student’s privacy, we cannot provide details." Yori received a $1.2 million buyout.

Yori, during Wednesday’s news conference, circled back to her exit from the NU women’s program.

"Most of the things that have been said and written about me are just not true, and they’re inaccurate," she said. "I do want you to know that. That’s just not the way it went down. Like I said, I left for family reasons. People don’t want to believe that, but that’s what happened. But it’s just really good to be back here."

Flanery, who was an assistant under Yori when she coached the Bluejays until 2002, said he stayed in contact with Yori the past 20 months. Yori wanted to come watch a practice last fall, and Flanery, about two months later, called Yori and floated the idea of her joining the program in some capacity.

The timing worked for Yori, who said things had "normalized" for her family. Yori used the time away from basketball to spend more time with her 13-year-old son.

“The last 22 months have been … really an absolute godsend for me because I’ve got time to spend time with Lukas that in a way that I didn’t have," Yori said. "I have ailing parents who went into assisted living about the time that I left Nebraska, so the opportunity that I had to spend with Lukas these last nearly two years is, you know, I can’t get that time back. I couldn’t get the time back with my parents, I can’t get the time with my son at a time when he’s a middle-school kid.

"I love being a stay-at-home parent. That’s been really fun for me. I didn’t get to do that. I didn’t get to be home when my son was home, and now I get to do that. And even with my position now, I’ll still get to do that."

Creighton also is home for Yori. She was recruited by then-Creighton women’s coach Bruce Rasmussen, the school’s current athletic director.

Yori scored more than 2,000 points and joined the Bluejays coaching staff as an assistant in 1986. The Creighton Hall of Fame member landed her first head coaching job at Loras (Iowa) before succeeding Rasmussen at Creighton in 1992.

Flanery, who started as a grad assistant under Rasmussen, was on Yori’s staff at Loras before joining her at Creighton. The two would drive shot clocks to a high school gym.

"Those were the days," Yori said. "We used to play a lot of games at (Omaha) Marian High School. When we played at Marian, I asked our SID at that time to put on the schedule where the game was. It was Marian Coliseum instead of Marian High School, so it at least sounded better."

Flanery and Yori have a working history together, but the current Creighton coach also sees a lot of value in Yori’s thoughts and opinions.

"Coaching is about asking the right questions a lot of the time," Flanery said. "Sometimes we get so focused on being within our system and our perspective, and we don’t get a little bit bigger with (our) perspective. That perspective becomes bigger when you have somebody from outside who has the breath of experience and talent that Connie has to just ask a different question than the one being asked in our staff meeting."

Asked if she has watched Nebraska play the past two seasons, Yori said, "I have not watched a possession."

She did shoot an email to Amy Williams after Williams took over as Nebraska coach, wishing her luck.

As for her role as program adviser, Yori admitted she doesn’t know how long she’ll do this.

"I haven’t made a five-year commitment to do this," Yori said, laughing. "So we’ll see how it goes.

"These guys know what they’re doing. Hopefully I can add something here and there, but they don’t need a lot of help."

Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell.


Sports editor

Clark Grell is sports editor.

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