University of San Francisco women's basketball legend Mary Hile-Nepfel enters her second season as sole head coach of the
Lady Dons and her 15th season at the controls of the women’s basketball fortunes on the Hilltop.
Hile-Nepfel was named sole head coach of the University of San Francisco following the 1999-2000
season, taking charge of a program she directed to national prominence with her husband Bill Nepfel
for 13 seasons. Last season was the 25th Anniversary of Lady Dons basketball and Hile-Nepfel also
reached several impressive milestones of her own during the silver anniversary year. With a convincing
105-51 pasting of UC Riverside in the 2000-2001 season opener, Hile-Nepfel became the all-time
winningest coach in program history with her 197th victory. When the Lady Dons downed Cal Poly,
Hile-Nepfel became just the third coach in USF athletics history to surpass 200 career wins. An
88-60 West Coast Conference win against Gonzaga was the 100th league win for Hile-Nepfel, who
became just the fourth coach in conference history to eclipse the century mark.
Hile-Nepfel, the first All-American in Lady Dons basketball history, is one of just seven players to
have a number retired in the rafters of War Memorial Gym. Hile-Nepfel was also the first woman to
be inducted into the USF Hall of Fame in 1985.
USF Basketball Legend: Mary Hile-Nepfel has a passion for the USF women's basketball program and
has proudly represented the university as both a player and a coach for a good portion of the last 24
years. Just six seasons after completing an All-American playing career with the Lady Dons in 1981,
Hile-Nepfel returned to the Hilltop campus in 1987 along with her husband, Bill Nepfel, to become
USF's co-head coaches. Their success as one of just a handful of husband-wife coaching tandems in the
country was highlighted by three consecutive WCC Tournament Championships followed by three
straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Hile-Nepfel, now in her 15th season, and second as sole head coach, faces the challenge of leading Lady
Dons basketball into the future with the same characteristic enthusiasm and drive as she
demonstrated during her playing days. Mary's intensity on the court and her strong will to win
characterized her as a player and are the same traits she instills in her players today.
Postseason success: Her biggest coaching highlights came during a three-year stretch from 1994-97.
USF won three consecutive WCC Tournament titles, as well as a pair of regular season championships,
and made three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament during this period. Hile-Nepfel has twice been
named WCC Coach of the Year (1989-90, 1994-95). As a duo, she and Bill also earned District 8
Converse Coach of the Year honors and were finalists for the Associated Press National Coach of the
Year in 1994-95. Hile-Nepfel boasts a 209-183 record in her 14 seasons as a collegiate head coach, all
at USF. The Nepfels collected their 190th career win two years ago when USF upset defending Pac-10
champion #18 Oregon on January 2, 2000.
Rise to National Prominence: In 1993, Hile-Nepfel was selected to be an assistant coach for the East
team in the Olympic Sports Festival held in San Antonio, Texas. She helped guide that team to a silver
medal finish. The memories were fond for Hile-Nepfel, who in 1978 was selected to participate on the
West squad in the first Olympic Festival in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Makings of Legend On The Hilltop Throughout her legendary playing career on the Hilltop and now
as a top coach, Hile-Nepfel is no stranger to achieveing excellence at the highest level. She was a
two-time All-American at USF and was twice a finalist for the Wade Trophy, awarded to the nation's
top collegiate player. She is the leading scorer in USF history (female or male) with 2,324 points. In
1985, Hile-Nepfel became the first woman inducted into the USF Hall of Fame. Her jersey No. 15 is
retired alongside those of other USF hoops greats Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Bill Cartwright, Mike
Farmer, Phil Smith and Brittany Lindhe, as well as coaches Pete Newell and Phil Woolpert. The USF
record book is owned by Hile-Nepfel. She currently holds 11 career, nine single-season and five
Hile-Nepfel excelled in the classroom as well, earning academic All-American honors twice and
receiving the Anne Dolan Award as USF's outstanding female student-athlete in both 1979 and 1981.
She has been nominated for the Academic All-American Hall of Fame.
Beginning the coaching journey: Following her graduation from the Hilltop in 1981 with a degree in
sports administration, Mary played professional basketball in Italy. She entered coaching as an
assistant at Long Beach State in 1982. During her three seasons at Long Beach State, the 49ers won
two conference championships and advanced to three NCAA regional finals. While at Long Beach State,
she earned her master's degree in physical education. Hile-Nepfel joined the coaching staff at the
University of Hawaii in 1985 as an assistant. The following year she moved to Chaminade University,
where she served as assistant athletic director.
Community involvement: Hile-Nepfel is a past member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association
Board of Directors and served as the Division I representative for the West Region. Mary is also
active in the community, serving as a guest speaker for various events, helping with fund-raising
efforts for local high school sports at an annual San Francisco celebrity luncheon, and coaching in
basketball clinics for both girls and boys throughout California. In addition, she heads the annual Mary
Hile Basketball Camp, held at USF each summer.
Mary Hile-Nepfel Coaching File: 15th Season as Head Coach 209 Career Victories - Most in USF
Women’s Basketball History 102 West Coast Conference Victories Three NCAA Tournament Berths
1996 NCAA Sweet 16 District VIII Coach of the Year - 1994-95 West Coast Conference Coach of the
Year 1989-90 & 1994-95 Assistant Coaching Stops: Long Beach State (1982-85) & Hawai'i (1985-86)
Mary Hile-Nepfel Playing File: Kodak Regional All-American - 1978-79, 1979-80 & 1980-81 Academic
All-American - 1979-80 & 1980-81 All-Northern California Athletic Conference 1977-78, 1978-79,
1979-80 & 1980-81 USF's All-Time Basketball (Men's & Women's) Leading Scorer - 2,324 career
points Career Rebounds - 1,602 Field Goals Made - 970 Professional Basketball Player - Italy (1981)
USF Hall of Famer (1986) #15 Retired (1981)