Discussion Forum

Women's Basketball 2019-20

Who are the possibilities as it stands right now? I understand we have a firm doing this and not Sandy Barbour but we could certainly find some of these people just off of who will be available come the end of the season.

It’s my understanding that the main purpose for using a head hunting firm is so that initial inquiries can be made without direct contact from us. Especially since many candidates are not yet finished with their season.

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Here is a sports writer’s list of top WBB coaching candidates.

Just based on W-L records and website bios, my own list of prospective candidates follows. There is some duplication of names from Blake DuDonis’s list.

Jennie Baranczyk – HC, Drake
Courtney Banghart – HC, Princeton
Bob Boldon – HC, Ohio U
Joanne Boyle – former HC, Virginia
Dan Burt – HC, Duquesne
Joy Cheek – AC, Clemson
Fred Chmiel – AC, South Carolina (former PSU asst)
Terri Williams-Flournoy – HC, Auburn (Lady Lion alum)
Megan Gebbia – HC, American Univ.
Lindsay Gottlieb – HC, Cal
Robin Harmony – HC, Lamar Univ.
Quentin Hillsman – HC, Syracuse
Neile Ivey – AC, Notre Dame
Tina Langley – HC, Rice
Katrina Merriweather – HC, Wright State
Cameron Newbauer – HC, Belmont
Dawn Plitzuweit – HC, South Dakota
Shea Ralph – AC, UConn
Aaron Roussell – HC, Bucknell

My personal favorite is Langley, who is a Brenda Frese (Maryland) protégé and has Rice in the Top 25, but you could make a good case for any of these. At this moment, Penn State is the most prominent school conducting a WBB coaching search.


Langley has gotten Rice back to the NCAA Tournament which is exciting after MTSU had a hold on the bid for several years.

However, due to PSU’s image as being a powerhouse for Women’s basketball over the decades I’d have to think they would try to go with someone who had been a part of that history. Which could mean trying to put feelers out to some of the previous Alum or coaches. We had another assistant go to NDSU as well who could be a nice fit as well.

This is Maren Walseth, who just got fired at NDSU after five losing seasons. I do not understand the people who think that being an alum is the best qualification for a job at Penn State.


I didn’t follow her well, she seemed fine as an assistant when she was at PSU. I also said she “could,” hence opening it to interpretation. I think they’d just want someone who knew how the program was run when it was good is all.

I really wish that Tom Hovasse’s name would start appearing on some of these lists. The guy has proven he can coach his socks off. His Japanese women were the darlings of the last Olympics, pulling off several upsets of teams that where supposed to have far superior athletes during their run up to and including the Games. Heck they even held their own against the US women for a half. He’s also put women into the WNBA from Japan which has to be regarded as a bit of an accomplishment given how far off the map the Japanese were a decade ago. Still, he’s probably too much of an out of the box choice to get the job here (plus, he may not want it).

He has never coached at any level in college. Other than one year in the WNBA, he has coached entirely overseas. It’s more than just coaching. A major part is recruiting connections. Yes, with the right stable of assistants, he might be able to manage. However, there are plenty of candidates with a proven track record as a HC at the DI college level that already know the recruiting game. Just like I was not happy that we went with an unproven assistant with CW. The BigTen is no place for training wheels.

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I’d like to see us go after South Carolina’s coach as a dream candidate, as she is from Philly. Not sure how much she makes there and if she has any connection to home.

The USC Board of Trustees on Friday approved raises and extensions for both coaches. Women’s coach Staley received a four-year extension that will ultimately increase her annual compensation package to $2.1 million

She would be taking a slight paycut to come to PSU.

Tina Langley may not be an alum, but she’s a monster recruiter and has plenty of Final Four experience from Maryland. She knows the Big 10 and has proven she can win.

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I agree Langley would turn this program around. My second choice would be between Williams-Flournoy or Newbauer. Joy Cheek shouldn’t even be a contender, but Shea Ralph would be interesting although I’m doubtful she might take it. I hope they get Langley!


Some strong candidate names on that list. I’ve done a lot of research as well. Jennie Baranczyk, HC at Drake University WBB is my personal favorite. Played 4 years at Iowa. Great recruiter. Only 37 years old. Has done a fantastic job at Drake. Drake actually beat both Nebraska and Rutgers this season. There is a possible glitch to Sandy Barbour hiring her though… a former AC had filed a discrimination lawsuit against Baranczyk claiming she was discriminated against due to her (the ex-AC) being gay. That lawsuit was recently dismissed. But would this give SB pause?

I also imagine that SB has already reached out to Lindsay Gottlieb who took Cal WBB to the Final Four several years back. Denise Dillon would also be a good hire. Joanne Boyle - probably not, as she has been out of coaching for awhile as she is still tied up with her adopted child’s paperwork overseas. Read that could take YEARS. Terri Williams-Flournoy’s record at Auburn is a lackluster 122-98 overall & just 43-67 in the SEC. A lot like CW’s record at Penn State. Her best coaching years were actually at Georgetown over 8 years ago. Megan Duffy, the HC at Miami, OH is considered to be one of the young up-and-coming HC’s in the women’s game. Coaches like Muffet McGraw and Kim Barnes-Arrico rave about her. Only two years of HC experience, BUT it’s not like the Lady Lions are going to compete for a B1G title for at least 2-3 years anyhow, by then Duffy would be fully up to speed. Played under McGraw at Notre Dame. Is considered extremely bright and a tireless worker. Katie Meier the HC at the other Miami would be a blockbuster hire but she would probably break the bank.

I consider that Baranczyk, Gottlieb, Dillon and Duffy would all be highly successful as the new Lady Lion HC. I believe that SB will give Lindsay Gottlieb first shot at the job. If she doesn’t want to come back East, then SB will start going down her list. IMHO, PSU needs to increase the pay of the Lady Lions AC’s to help make them more competitive also.

Last, Mel Greenberg (the Guru) has a nice blog he posted on CW’s replacement. I’m new here and not allowed to post links. You can find his post:

I don’t agree with him on Suzie McConnell-Seriio. Her record at Pitt was 67-87 but her ACC record was an abysmal 22-58 or just 27% wins. Similar to CW’s B1G record the last five seasons…


One more thing on Megan Duffy, in her first season as HC at Miami, OH her team went 21-11. The season before she arrived, the RedHawks were 12-21. That ten win improvement was #1 in NCAA WBB for first year head coaches. This season they are currently 23-8. Duffy was an All-American at Notre Dame and played in the WNBA and also professionally overseas. After the WNBA she was an AC at St. John’s for 3 years, then the Associate Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at George Washington University for two years, after GW she was an AC under Kim Barnes-Arrico at Michigan for 3 years and then hired as the HC at Miami, OH in 2017-18. Duffy was the second youngest D1 women’s head coach ever (was 31 years old when hired by Miami) Is 33 now. Duffy has been on a fast track ever since she left the WNBA and I wouldn’t be shocked if Sandy Barbour gave her a shot. At all her coaching stops, the teams were highly successful during her time there.


SB has been sighted at Yale. Yale?! Allison Guth? A good coach I guess, but hasn’t won anything major. A source shared that the search is in her words “female intensive.” The Lady Lions have never had a male head coach in the 54 years history of their program. Looks like that will continue. Maybe SB met Courtney Banghart at Yale instead of at Princeton? Banghart a previous winner of the NCAA DI Women’s National COY.
OK, I just did some sleuthing and found out that Camillo Emsbo is finishing up her freshman year at Yale. Emsbo is 6’-5" and was a 7 time winner of the Ivy League Rookie of the Week Award. Sometimes it is worked out that top players follow their HC to their new job. Don’t think these conversations don’t happen…they do.

The Ivy League tourney was at Yale this year. I doubt Barbour would actually speak directly to any coach until their season is finished, it wouldn’t surprise me that she was there to see and be seen. Even if Princeton had lost, they would have been going to the WNIT.

Given probable long term careers, I doubt that someone would transfer from an Ivy to Penn State for basketball.

Penn’s coach should be a solid sleeper for anyone looking to hire as well.

SB was sighted at Yale yesterday.

Which was Monday. The Ivy League tourney finished up on Sunday with Princeton beating Penn in a 4pm tip.

SB evidently is intent on hiring a female HC. We’ll see. Yes, Mike McLaughlin’s name comes up every year now. A solid HC.

SB was at Yale for some reason…