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Bessemer native guides UW-Green Bay
March 21, 2013 - Burt Angeli
Bessemer’s Kevin Borseth has UW-Green Bay back in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.
The 11th-seeded Phoenix (29-2) and No. 6 LSU (20-11) will clash at 6:30 p.m. Sunday (ESPN2) from Baton Rouge, La. The winner plays Tuesday.
“Any team is really lucky and fortunate to be playing at this time of year,” said Borseth, who returned to UWGB after leaving for the University of Michigan coaching job. “Our staff and players are very fortunate to just have the chance to play in a postseason tournament.”
UWGB, ranked No. 20 in the country by The Associated Press, upended Loyola of Chicago for the Horizon League title and berth in the NCAA tournament. The Phoenix is making a fifth straight NCAA appearance and 14th overall.
“We’ve played some pretty good teams this year and the Horizon League is as good as it’s ever been,” said Borseth, a member of the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame. “We feel like our team is in a good place heading into the tournament.”
UW-Green Bay, under Matt Bollant, advanced to the second round last year. Bollant is now the head coach at Illinois. Borseth left for Michigan after coaching at UW-Green Bay from 1998 to 2007.
Borseth also coached at Gogebic Community College and Michigan Tech. The Daily Globe reported Borseth’s 25-year coaching record at 556-234 in a March 16 story.
Borseth thought Michigan would be a “dream job.”
“It was one of the only places in the world I ever really wanted to coach,” Borseth said. “An opportunity like Michigan doesn’t come along very often. So we left Green Bay for Ann Arbor.”
Borseth found the University of Michigan position consumed too much of his time. He wanted to “get back home” where he could still check on his parents who live in the U.P. (Bergland).
“The higher you climb the ladder, the harder it is to breathe,” said Borseth, who missed taking Sunday off but that happened to be Big Ten Conference game days. “It’s taking time to breathe and live again. And you have to go where you’ll be happy.
“I don’t have any regrets with what I did going to Michigan and I don’t have any regrets coming back here. The quality of life is very good here and we’re really enjoying it.”
UW-Green Bay topped the nation in scoring defense with 47.9 points per game.
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AP Photo UW-Green Bay head coach Kevin Borseth, a native of Bessemer, cuts down the net after the Phoenix beat Loyola 54-38 in the Horizon League Women's Basketball Championship game at the Kress Events Center.