Sherri Coale has built the Sooners into a contender by remaining true to her self

It was a freezing fall day in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1995, and Sherri Coale, the women’s basketball coach for the Norman High School Lady Tigers, found herself inside a stuffy basketball gym, packed with too many bodies for one coach to realistically handle.

One of Coale’s players, a senior named Stacy Hansmeyer, was commanding national attention thanks to her season averages of 17 points and nine rebounds per contest. Coaches from all across the country were coming to Norman to see just what it was the forward had to offer.

One coach in particular walked through the doors of the gym and stuck out like a sore thumb.

The lapels of his suit jacket were turned up to shield his face from the random snowstorm that was pounding Norman, and he was wearing loafers without socks. Geno Auriemma, the head coach for the University of Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team, was in town to recruit Hansmeyer.

He left with a new name on his mind: Coale.

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