Feb. 20, 2002

Norman, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma head women's basketball coach Sherri Coale will be inducted into Oklahoma Christian University Hall of Fame on Thursday, Feb. 21. Coale will be joined by mentor Dan Hays, coaching, and Ron D. Bever, a retired faculty athletic representative. The inductees and their families will be honored at a dinner and an official presentation will be held at the halftime of the OC-St. Gregory's men's basketball game Thursday.

"This is a tremendous honor for me to be inducted into Oklahoma Christian's Hall of Fame," said Coale. "I have had so many pleasant experiences with OC and some of my favorite memories are from my days at the University. It will always be an extremely special place to me.

"For me to be inducted with Dan (Hays) just makes it extra special. He taught me to do what I do (coach). I have so much respect for him as a coach and as a person."

Coale was a four-year standout for the Lady Eagles, graduating from OC in 1987. A native of Healdton, Okla., she was a member of the Sooner Athletic Conference Championship teams in 1984, 1985 and 1986 and served as captain of the 1987 squad. As a senior, Coale was an NAIA Academic All-American and in 1996 was recognized as Alumnus of the Year by the OC College of Education.

At Oklahoma, Coale has led the Sooners to three consecutive Big 12 titles and a three-year conference mark of 40-6, heading into Saturday's game at Missouri. She's also coached OU to two straight NCAA Sweet 16s (2000, 2001), earning her numerous coach of the year honors. The former Norman High School coach has had Oklahoma ranked among the nation's elite teams since 1999. Coale, a two-time Big 12 and District V Coach of the Year, was named a finalist for the prestigious Naismith National Coach of the Year Award this week.

Selection was made by a 13-member voting committee to recognize individuals who have excelled as athletes, coaches, and in meritorious service and represent the high ideals of the university. The OC Hall of Fame inducted its charter class in 1991 and now includes 25 honorees.