Finkbeiner Named Utah State Head Women's Basketball Coach
April 26, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Jerry Finkbeiner has been named Utah State head women's basketball coach it was announced Thursday by Athletics Director Scott Barnes. Finkbeiner becomes the ninth head coach in 23 years of Aggie women's basketball.
"We are extremely excited to have Jerry Finkbeiner join Utah State University and be our next head women's basketball coach," said Barnes. "He is a skilled leader, and his coaching philosophy aligns very well with our core values and mission. The success of Jerry's teams both on and off the court during his illustrious career demonstrates his attention to detail, and we are convinced that he will continue to build upon the high level of achievement we have seen with our women's program over the past few years. Plus, his up-tempo style of play will be fun for our student-athletes and fans."
Finkbeiner (pronounced Fink-by-ner) is the second male coach in Utah State history along with Bob Corbin who was the Aggies' coach from 1984-86. Finkbeiner is only the second USU coach since the re-instatement of the program in 2003 when Raegan Pebley took over. Pebley has since taken the head coaching position at Fresno State.
Finkbeiner is taking over a Utah State program that had its first 20-win season in 2011-12, finishing with a 21-10 record and advanced to Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) for the second-straight season. USU returns nine players from last season's roster, including guard Devyn Christensen who earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference and WBCA all-region honors. Guards Jenna Johnson, Jennifer Schlott and Elise Nelson will also be back in the Aggie lineup next season.
Finkbeiner comes to Utah State from Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Okla., where he spent 16 years as head coach. During his tenure at ORU, the Golden Eagles averaged 17 wins per season and advanced to postseason play eight times during the past 13 years with five trips to the NCAA Tournament and three appearances in the Women's National Invitational Tournament. Prior to Finbeiner's arrival, ORU had never played in an NCAA Tournament game.
Overall, Finkbeiner has a 454-232 (.662) record in 22 years as a collegiate head coach at Oral Roberts (1996-2012) and Southern Nazarene (1991-96). He also ranks 32nd in the nation among active coaches with his 454 career wins, while his 66.2 percent winning percentage ranks 38th nationally all-time.
"I was very impressed with the team spirit amongst the administration and the athletic department. Everyone seemed to be on the same page. There was a lot of spirit for the university and support for each other. I was very impressed with that. The other thing that stood out to me was some of the traditions of Utah State such as the White and Blue A; things that go with and establish the university that are closely tied with athletics. So, I am really looking forward to going to the next step and living the life of an Aggie," Finkbeiner said.
As the head coach at Oral Roberts, Finkbeiner led the Golden Eagles to seven Summit League (formerly Mid-Continent Conference) regular season and tournament titles and six 20-win seasons, including three consecutive 20-win campaigns, a first for the program in over three decades. At ORU, Finkbeiner coached five All-Americans, eight conference players of the year, five conference newcomers of the year and 26 all-conference selections. Furthermore, Finkbeiner was named conference coach of the year twice during his ORU tenure.
Oral Roberts hit the 20-win plateau for the third-straight season in 2011-12 and achieved several landmark victories along the way. The Golden Eagles defeated Wisconsin in early November for their first win over a Big Ten program since 1977, and their win over the WAC's Louisiana Tech was their first against the three-time national champions. ORU also advanced to the WNIT in 2011-12, their third consecutive postseason appearance.
In his six years prior to coming to ORU, Finkbeiner led Southern Nazarene to three-straight NAIA national titles and a combined 99-4 record from 1994 to 1996. Finkbeiner posted a 186-20 record in six seasons at SNU. During his career at Southern Nazarene, Finkbeiner coached nine NAIA All-Americans and a two-time NAIA Player of the Year, while five of his players went on to play professional basketball overseas.
During his tenure at Southern Nazarene, Finkbeiner's coaching achievements did not go unnoticed as he was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year in 1994, 1995 and 1996. In 1995, he was also named as the College Sports Magazine and Converse National Coach of the Year. Finkbeiner was named the NAIA District 9 Coach of the Year in 1993 and the Sooner Athletic Conference Coach of the Year from 1992 to 1996.
Finkbeiner, a native of Southern California, attended Southern Nazarene in Oklahoma City from 1975-80, where he was a four-year letterwinner. In that time, he was selected as a Christian Collegiate All-American in 1978. Finkbeiner graduated with a bachelor's of science in physical education and completed his master's degree in physical education at Northwest Missouri State University. Along with coaching at SNU, Finkbeiner also worked as a professor in the kinesiology and sports management department.
Finkbeiner is married to Reva and the couple have five children and two daughter-in-laws, Isaac (Angela), Ben (Alycia), Corban, Micha and Bethany.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.
Finkbeiner's Coaching History 2012 - Utah State Women's Basketball Head Coach 1996-2012 - Oral Roberts Women's Head Coach 1991-96 - Southern Nazerene Women's Head Coach 1986-88 - Nampa (Idaho) High School Girls' Head Coach 1985-86 - Northwest Nazarene Women's Head Coach 1984-85 - Northwest Nazarene Men's Assistant Coach 1983-84 - Northwest Missouri State University Men's Graduate Assistant 1980-83 - Melba (Idaho) HIgh School Boy's Head Coach