Oklahoma Sooners head women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale has earned the right to coach the Team USA basketball team this summer in Russia for the Women’s University Games.
“It was an absolute honor to serve USA Basketball as both an assistant coach and a selection committee member,” Coale said. “Representing our country via this sport that I love is the ultimate opportunity–an opportunity that I don’t take lightly and one that I am humbled to accept.”
Coale previously served as an assistant coach and also helped as part of the Team USA selection committee, but this is her first time to get to serve as the head coach of Team USA. Her assistants for the game will be Brian Giorgis (Marist Red Foxes) and Coquese Washington (Penn State Nittany Lions).
Team USA is the defending champions, winning the gold medals in 2011. The event will take place in Kazan, Russia, from July 8-15. The competition features women between 17 and 24 years in age.
Sherri Coale deserves this honor above most coaches. In her 17th year as the Oklahoma Sooners head coach, Coale has amassed a 357-168 (.680) record, winning 10 Big 12 Championships, coaching 25 All-Big 12 players, and coaching the team to an impressive 199 AP Top 25 appearances.
After taking over a program that was about to die, only to be saved by Title IX, she led them to the postseason in her third season with a trip to the WNIT Tournament and then had them in the NCAA Sweet 16 the next year. Since that time, she has coached Oklahoma to 13 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, winning less than 20 games only twice.
The Oklahoma Oklahoma have made it to the Sweet 16 five times and the Final Four three times under Coale.