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Coale adds former Penn State head coach to Sooner staff


NORMAN — One hire down, one to go.

Oklahoma women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale announced the hiring of assistant coach Coquese Washington on Thursday.

Washington was Penn State’s head coach from 2008-19, going 209-169 with the Nittany Lions and guiding them to four NCAA Tournament appearances and two Sweet 16s.

“Coquese is a winner,” Coale said in a statement. “Her track record of coaching and her experience in recruiting elite talent is well-documented. She has a versatile skill set that will benefit our student-athletes and our coaching staff.”

Coale and Washington coached together for USA Basketball at the 2013 World University Games.

After the Sooners were 8-22 this season, longtime Coale assistants Pam DeCosta and Chad Thrailkill left the program, leaving Colton Coale as the only remaining assistant.

“Sherri Coale is an unquestioned star in our profession, and exemplifies achieving high levels of success with grace, class, integrity and dignity,” Washington said in a release. “The way she impacts the lives of her student-athletes is nothing short of amazing. Joining the OU family is going to be a lot of fun for me and my family, and we are eager to get to Norman and become a part of this remarkable community.”

Washington signed six McDonald’s All-Americans during her tenure at Penn State.

Prior to that, Washington was an assistant at Notre Dame, where she played collegiately, from 1999-2007. She played six seasons in the WNBA, winning a championship in 2000 with Houston.

Freeman transfers to UC Santa Barbara

Oklahoma forward Matt Freeman has transferred to UC Santa Barbara, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

Freeman entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal shortly after OU’s season-ending loss to Virginia. He’s set to graduate in May, and will be immediately eligible to play for the Gauchos next season.

UCSB went 22-10 last season, finishing second in the Big West behind UC Irvine.

Freeman, from Auckland, New Zealand, averaged 3.2 points and 1.5 rebounds in 11 minutes per game last year. He was primarily used as a 3-point specialist, shooting 36 percent from behind the arc.

Freeman is the second Sooner to transfer this offseason. Senior guard Ty Lazenby recently committed to Oral Roberts.

Oklahoma is bringing in the 16th-ranked 2019 recruiting class. Six players have signed with the Sooners, including top-100 prospects in guard De’Vion Harmon and center Victor Iwuakor.