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OU basketball: Head coach Sherri Coale announces retirement after 25 seasons with Sooners

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Sherri Coale

Head coach Sherri Coale during the game against Baylor on Feb. 21.

OU head coach Sherri Coale announced her retirement Wednesday in a press release after 25 seasons leading the Sooners.

Coale goes out with the most wins in OU women's basketball history and has already been inducted to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. She finishes her time at OU with a 513-294 overall record and a 253-168 mark in Big 12 play.

Coale was a four-time Big 12 Coach of the Year and led OU to 10 conference titles. She also coached the Sooners to 19-straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1999-2018. Oklahoma made the Final Four three times in that span.

“Through much prayer and the gifts of a year that provided pockets of stillness most years never produce, I have amazing clarity," Coale said in the release. "Basketball was my first and deepest love and coaching has been this wonderfully amazing life that I can’t believe they pay me for. ... Twenty-five years just feels right in my bones and in my soul.

“It’s never easy to leave no matter how great a thing you are running to, because something is always left behind. It’s hard to leave these players. ... This season will always be one tattooed on my heart."

Coale's decision to call it a career comes after a 12-12 season in which Oklahoma failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the third-straight year. In August 2020, former Sooner Gioya Carter criticized Coale and the program's handling of racial inclusion. 

Coale, OU President Joseph Harroz and athletics director Joe Castiglione have set a Zoom press conference for 10 a.m. CT Wednesday to discuss Coale's decision.

Sports Editor

Mason Young is a journalism sophomore. He's the Daily's sports editor and covers OU football. He was previously assistant sports editor and has worked as a reporter covering OU women's gym, OU wrestling and former Sooners in the NFL.

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