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Sooner Nations' Sweetheart: A Day in the Life of Sherri Coale

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Originally Published: Mar 1, 2011 6:7 PM CDT

Stephany Speck
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- Sherri Coale may best be known for the image she’s created on the sidelines at the Lloyd Noble Center -- the passionate, effective coach with the big, blonde hair who’s guided the Sooners Women’s Basketball program to 10 Big 12 Championships.

She’s Sooner Nation’s sweetheart, having spent 14-years as OU’s head coach. Her list accolades are long and her following is obvious. She’s produced some of the best players in women’s college hoops and has earned four Big 12 Coach of the Year awards.

Coale’s success from the sidelines is due in large part to the lessons she teaches to her players on the court.

“At some point, your personal pride kicks in and you make a decision as an individual, ‘This is who I’m going to be. I choose to learn. I choose to be learner. I choose not to be afraid,’” Coale said.

She takes her role as the leader of the team seriously, challenging her players as athletes and individuals, and she certainly practices what she preaches.

Coach Coale not only juggles the responsibilities of being the Sooners’ head coach, she’s also the mother of two - Colton and Chandler - and wife of husband Dane. She’s able to balance her roles while finding success by defining her focus on the two worlds.

“Taking a concept and putting it into play. That’s the reason there are two emphasis every day - one on offense and one of defense - so that you can define your focus,” Coale said.

On a regular day, Sherri Coale drops her children off for school and heads to the office to study game footage, instruct her players in practice and prepare a game plan for the Sooners’ next matchup.

She records television shows dedicated to her team’s season, co-hosts radio shows with OU Mens’ Head Coach Jeff Capel, attends her kids’ basketball games and still manages to find time to sit down with members of her team and teach them life lessons.

“At some point, you have to make a decision as an individual who you’re going to be and what you’re going to stand for,” Coach Coale explained to her players following a practice.

“Boy, there’s nothing better than that?seeing a kid find their voice,” Coale said. “I would have loved to beaten Colorado last night, but I’d rather help a kid find her voice today.”

She knows she’s a role model not only to her players, but to other women who see how she passionately pursues her roles and finds her successes.

“(I’m) flattered, humbled, cautious to make sure that I take that responsibility and handle it well,” Coale said.

Sooner Nation’s sweetheart continues to “go, go, go” with her packed schedule, unaware that any other pace exists. It’s that tenacity that helps Sherri Coale balance it all at once with poise and passion.
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