With the Oklahoma loss last night in the Big Twelve Women’s Basketball tournament, head coach Sherri Coale’s Sooners finished one of her least impressive seasons, going eight wins up and 22 loses down. This year’s team was Coale’s third losing outfit. Her Sooners had two losing teams when she took the job, going 5-22 in 1996-97 and 8-19 the following year in Norman. Since those first two teams and a WNIT birth in 1998-99, the women’s team had reeled off 19 straight NCAA appearances, including three Final Fours and four more Sweet Sixteens. That streak ended yesterday in the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City with the 104-84 blowout loss to Texas Tech.
Coale’s consistent success has elevated Coale to elite status in women’s college basketball and a spot in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Yet a slippage for the Sooners that have them not taking the Big Twelve regular season title for the last nine years gives thought that the team is trending downward and a change of jobs for Coale might be just what is needed.
Make no mistake about Coale’s coaching abilities. That is not a discussion. But a new start at another prestigious school could energize Coale, thus allow the Sooner program to take a different step forward in getting viable as of the past. under this HOF coach.
Yes, Coale has recruited some excellent talent in the past few years, yet lately, player after player has walked away for one reason or another, and it cannot be argued that a season just experienced cannot be duplicated. For the dollars this coach is being paid, OU’s women’s program losing is not acceptable. Right now, this program is on the bottom of the Big Twelve.
Coale would not have much difficulty in finding a similar position with another Power Five school, and that might be the best option for all concerned. Teams are always looking for winners and that is what we have here in Coale.
Look for OU to have a big time comeback season in 2019-20 or expect the powers to be in Norman to see the need for a change. Another year like this one that just ended will not be good for Coale continuing at OU.
That is the way I see it sports fans.
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