OU women's basketball: Jennie Baranczyk hired as program's head coach

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Joe Buettner, The Norman Transcript, Okla.
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Apr. 10—Jennie Baranczyk built a winner at Drake. The 39-year-old coach will now take a crack at reviving Oklahoma's women's basketball program.

The University of Oklahoma announced Baranczyk as the team's next head coach on Saturday. She is the ninth coach to hold the position.

"This is a truly exciting day for our university and athletics department, as we welcome Jennie Baranczyk as our new head women's basketball coach," OU athletics director Joe Castiglione said in a statement.

"Her track record of overseeing creative and effective offenses, and producing high win totals, conference championships and postseason appearances during her time at Drake certainly appealed to our search committee as it evaluated the very competitive candidate pool. But her mastery of the head coaching role extends far beyond the court, and it's clear that her personal and professional values align with ours."

Baranczyk finished with a record of 192-96 at Drake, where she led the Bulldogs to four regular-season Missouri Valley Conference championships, three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and a 123-39 record in conference play over nine seasons.

Baranczyk built a reputation of producing exciting offenses. Her last Drake squad led the country in assists per game with 20.4 and sixth in field-goal percentage at 48.1%. Drake also ranked in the top 25 nationally in scoring offense with 76.4 points per game and 3-point field goal percentage at 36.4%.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be named the next head coach for the University of Oklahoma's women's basketball program and following the highly successful and much-admired Sherri Coale," Baranczyk said in a statement.

"... We are going to compete at the highest level on the court and in the classroom. We will play hard, play together and be fun to watch. I'm looking forward to being at Oklahoma where there are amazing people and we can, and will, compete for championships."

As a player, Baranczyk, formerly Jennie Lillis, was a three-time All-Big Ten selection at Iowa. As a senior, she averaged 16.0 points and 6.2 rebounds and helped the Hawkeyes reach the NCAA Tournament for the third time in her four years.

Following her playing career, Baranczyk joined Deb Patterson's Kansas State coaching staff as an assistant. She left Manhattan, Kansas, after two seasons to take a similar role at Marquette for four years.

Baranczyk left the school for another assistant role at Colorado before landing her first head coaching job at Drake, where she was named the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year back-to-back years in 2017 and '18.

Baranczyk inherits an OU squad that went 12-12 this past season and was a fringe NCAA Tournament team before ending the year with an 89-80 loss to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals.

OU will introduce Baranczyk as the program's next head coach at a news conference next week.

"Jennie prioritizes the overall well-being of everyone in her program, is passionate about empowering her student-athletes and recognizes that a program is only as good as its people," Castiglione said.

"She is family-oriented and community-minded, both of which will help her generate enthusiasm among our fans and as she works to return our program to Big 12 and national prominence. We are thrilled that she and her husband Scott and kids Eli, Jordi and Hope have joined the OU family, and we are so eager for their arrival in Norman."

Joe Buettner

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