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  1. #1

    Default Coquese Washington and Penn State Part Ways

    "I am very appreciative of Coquese's contributions to the Lady Lion basketball program and Penn State," said Sandy Barbour, Penn State Vice President of Athletics. "She is committed to developing young women, has been impactful in our community and we are grateful for her dedication. We thank her for 12 years of service to Penn State, and wish Coquese and her family all the best in their future endeavors. We both agree that the program is not where it needs to be, and this change of leadership is best at this time."

    "I've had an amazing run at Penn State," Washington said. "I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people, especially the talented and dedicated staff members who were with me along this journey. I was fortunate to coach some extremely talented players along the way and will remember the fantastic experiences we enjoyed together. I am thankful for the Penn State and Lady Lion fans who supported us strongly year-in and year-out. I will always look back at my time at Penn State with fond memories while taking on this next chapter with my family."

  2. #2


    She coached 15 All-Americans, 50 Academic All-Americans, and was BIG Coach of the Year three times. By all accounts, a good person. That being said, still can't blame PSU for heading in a different direction.

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    It has been surprising to watch the decline of her program. Anybody have more details as I don't remember hearing specific problems .

  4. #4


    Mel Greenburg's musings on the next Penn State Coach.

    Cheryl Reeves gets a mention. I liked Megan Duffy as an option last spring and again this spring.
    So knowing Barbour personally. but hadn’t talked to her since the Rene Portland funeral, and seeing this coming and also discussing the looming situation with a former women’s administrator at a key Midwest school who might have been in a similar situation one day, and also several others and the Guru playing the role if he had to build a search, here are the names to put on a list, which is why you’re all still reading this at this point.

    Lindsay Gottlieb — Could set the NCAA record for hiring the same person the most times at two different institutions.Would she come back East or hold off for some other Power 5s looming.

    Suzy McConnell Serio, one of the original superstars, now unemployed after let go at Pitt in her native city. But, but you say, but the Guru says being Suzie McConnell at Penn State trying to win in the Big Ten is a bit easier — not knocking the conference — than trying to contend in the ACC. At the time of the Portland departure, she took the vacancy at Duquesne and signals were sent that connections to the previous era were a barrier. But that was then and this is now.


    Tricia Fabbri, Quinnipiac. At some point the window of being the UConn of the MAAC will expire and while is well compensated for her success, there is also a PSU connection many of you don’t know from her maiden name Sacca — as in two brothers who quarterbacked the Nits.

    Carolyn Keiger, Marquette — Her success this season in the national rankings and Big East
    Jennifer Barancyk, Drake — Success at midmajor midwest
    Tricia Cullop, Toledo — Name has come up before in power 5s and if more open could be a bidding war if she’s the one.
    Katrina Merriweather, Wright State
    Megan Duffy, Miami of Ohio — Many point to her among the youth core though hasn’t won anything yet. It means dipping back into the Notre Dame pool, but what’s not to like.
    Tina Langley — Former Maryland aide who made Rice a national item.

    Take the shot and pick up the phone and call four-time WNBA champion coach Cheryl Reeve and have a discussion.

    Right now the window is there if you think she’s the one and you have the bucks to do the deal since wouldn’t be asking her to leave Mount Olympus, given the Lynx immediate situation.

    Before she became the Cheryl Reeve you all know she had interest in the then-vacant Rhode Island job.

    “Always liked the A-10 having played and seen the quality of coaches, think it can be a good job.”

    They hired Cathy Inglese who had success at Boston College and soon thereafter the Lynx came calling and the rest is Cherylstory.

  5. #5


    "Onward State" lists some names (the writer searched to find a few Penn State connections):
    We’ve assembled a list of five coaches with resumes including building mid-majors, leading established Power Fives, and histories attached to the Lady Lions. If you came here looking to see Suzie McConnell-Serio — yes, a Penn State legend as a player, but also a coach who went 67-87 at Pitt and had an investigation into verbal abuse allegations from former players at the end of her tenure — you can stop reading.
    The names are:

    Carolyn Kieger-Marquette

    After another successful season with Marquette, Kieger is going to be a hot commodity for Power Five programs looking for a coach. The former Miami assistant took over in Milwaukee in 2014 and has delivered two Big East regular season championships and a conference tournament title in the past three years to grant the Golden Eagles three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.

    The 35-year-old just signed an extension last season, but the Big East on the women’s side isn’t the major conference it is on the men’s side. There’s history for such a switch from a Big East to Big Ten school, as well, with Michigan securing Kim Barnes Arico, who has likely led the Wolverines to their third NCAA Tournament in seven seasons, from St. John’s, after she turned the Red Storm into a Sweet 16-level team in 2012.
    Mike McLaughlin-Penn

    Terri Williams-Flournoy-Auburn
    Williams-Flournoy was a Lady Lion back from 1988 to 1991. Could she make her return after a handful of coaching stops in the near 30 years since?

    In those stops, she’s held two head coaching positions: Georgetown (2004-12) and Auburn (2012-present). The Hoyas, who had all of one NCAA Tournament appearance before she arrived, went to the Big Dance three consecutive years under Williams-Flournoy, including the Sweet 16 in her final season. Her record at Auburn is 124-100 since taking over, and she’s likely led the Tigers to their third NCAA Tournament in four seasons.

    She did just sign a contract extension through 2023. It might come at a steeper price to poach the Tigers coach — she was slated to earn on average $600,000 per year prior to the extension, with no terms disclosed for the new deal. Coquese Washington’s most recently known contract terms (from the 2012 extension through 2017) paid her on average $700,000 per year.
    Fred Chmiel-South Carolina

    Chmiel has been a key assistant on a number of notable women’s college basketball teams, including the Lady Lions during the Maggie Lucas/Alex Bentley years this decade when Penn State reached the Sweet 16 twice. They haven’t returned to the NCAA Tournament since he left in 2014 for Minnesota, where he spent a year before heading to South Carolina, where he was part of the 2017 national championship team.

    He does have some head coaching experience, leading leading a pair of lower division men’s college teams in California and a National Women’s Basketball League team in San Jose before the organization folded.

    The question is whether he would want to leave the Gamecocks. South Carolina has become a powerhouse in the women’s game and he has a long connection to the team’s head coach Dawn Staley, coaching her for a season in the WNBA before becoming part of her coaching staff at Temple.
    Lindsay Gottlieb-Cal

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    I think Kieger, could set her sights higher, like maybe Tennessee when that job opens.

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    I think Fred was the most qualified of the various assistants during the Stollings era, but I would expect him to stay at South Carolina.

  8. #8


    Penn State selects a search firm.

    Executive recruitment firm Ventura Partners has been chosen to lead the search for the next women’s head basketball coach at Penn State University. After 12 seasons, the program elected to move on from coach Coquese Washington. Partner Chad Chatlos will spearhead the nationwide search for Ventura Partners.

    “We both agree that the program is not where it needs to be, and this change of leadership is best at this time,” said Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour.

    Penn State wants a dynamic and experienced leader with a strong commitment to NCAA Division I-A athletics, integrity, compliance, character, diversity, and the academic and athletic experience of the student-athlete. The head coach will be responsible for maintaining and strengthening a nationally competitive women’s basketball program by presenting a clear vision and strategy to compete for B1G and NCAA Championships, said Ventura Partners.

  9. #9


    Maybe Felisha Legette-Jack and her side line antics will return to the B1G.

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    The Athletic on Felisha Legette-Jack:
    Legette-Jack knows this. She knows legendary UConn head coach Geno Auriemma, too. He recruited her when she was in high school and he was working as an assistant coach at Virginia in the ‘80s.

    “He was a good-looking dude, oh, so suave and he was so cool,” she says with a laugh from her office on Wednesday morning. “He was so genuine that my high school coach told me to go play for him because something about him was perfect. I visited other places and stuff, but I wanted to go to program that wasn’t already established. And that was Syracuse. He ended up going to UConn that same year as a head coach.”

    Auriemma remembered recruiting Legette-Jack, too.

    “I followed her career at Syracuse and her coaching career after that, and I really admire her,” he said during a press conference last Saturday. “She was the same as a player as she is now. High energy, really active, really skilled and just played really hard. We played against her when she was at Syracuse playing for Barb Jacobs. She hasn’t changed much, that’s the personality she had as a player that she has now. She was really highly recruited coming out of high school and I never got the opportunity to coach her, but I stayed in touch with her. I really like her as a person.”

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    This would be a good hire in my opinion, I always like her when she coached Indiana. At the time, Indy was way down on the pecking order in the Hoosier State but I believe they might have passed Purdue. Would be good for PSU and the B1G.

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    Legette-Jack has got to strike while the iron’s hot. I doubt she has any more Dillard’s in her pipeline.

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