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Coale to be Honored with UN Peace Award
January 11, 2011

Jan. 11, 2011

NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma head women's basketball coach Sherri Coale was selected the winner of a United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award, announced today by Celebrate Positive.

This award, viewed as a 21st century peace prize, honors and recognizes individuals, businesses, athletes, sports teams, entertainers and schools around the world for their positive contributions.

"This is really a program award," Coale said. "I accept it on behalf of our current staff and players and all of our former coaches and players who continue to give back and lead through service in their respective communities. 

"I so appreciate the recognition for our program but, as our players past and present can attest, the rewards come from the doing.  It is truly an honor to have such a platform from which to serve."

Coale was voted the winner of the inaugural award in the sports coach category.  Nominated by Adam Barnett, college pastor of Journey Church in Norman, Coale was chosen from a pool that included Kansas men's basketball head coach Bill Self, Kentucky's John Calipari, IUPUI head coach Ron Hunter, South Dakota State's Scott Nagy, Tennessee Tech's Mike Sutton and Glenforest School's William Knopf.

The award will be presented during a pre-game ceremony Wednesday night when the Sooners host Kansas State at 7 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center.  On site to recognize Coale will be Rotary International District #5770 Governor Glenda Thomas and Celebrate Positive President and CEO Scott Pederson.

"Celebrate Positive congratulates Sherri Coale for exemplifying what giving back to the community means," said Pederson. "Coach Coale's positive impact goes beyond the Oklahoma community. Her concern for the international community has inspired her players and Sooner fans everywhere. " 

The 2010 Positive Peace Award nominees were judged by the United Nations NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations) Voting Academy comprised of highly respected United Nations NGOs, such as Rotary International, Pathways to Peace, and Sister Cities International. The Voting Academy established criteria of a coach's community involvement and impact on their community to determine this year's winner.

"Sherri Coale is uniquely gifted as a leader, teacher, and mentor," said OU Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. "Her coaching accomplishments highlighted by significant numbers of victories and championships are overwhelming, but no more so than the profound impact she has had on the lives of those she has coached.

"Sherri takes a unique interest in their personal development and I am often impressed at the way young people grow and mature under her guidance.  As a former classroom educator, she places great emphasis on academic performance and it shows in the outstanding grade point averages and graduation rates we see in her program.

"There are a number of people in our profession who talk about the development of the 'total person.'  The program developed by Sherri Coale here at the University of Oklahoma has to be amongst the greatest examples of creating an environment for that goal to be realized."

About Celebrate Positive
Celebrate Positive, in coordination with the United Nations and its non-government organizations like, Rotary International, Sister Cities International and Pathways to Peace provides a platform to recognize communities, businesses, schools, athletes and entertainers for the positive work to make a difference in the world. Celebrate Positive has created a destination website that provides inspirational news from around the world as well as efforts being made by the United Nations to promote peace globally.  For more information on Celebrate Positive or the organizations and agencies they work with, visit www.celebratepositive.com.

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