Happy Monday, friends and fans!
This weekend, the Oklahoma Sooners completed their search for a women’s basketball head coach with the hiring of Jennie Baranczyk. After leading the Drake Bulldogs for the past nine seasons, Baranczyk comes to OU as a proven winner with a reputation for building and sustaining a championship level program.
Not enough can be said for what Sherri Coale meant to Oklahoma in her 25 years as the Sooners’ leader, but women’s hoops at OU was in dire need of a system reboot. Baranczyk — a 39-year-old former star baller herself with the Iowa Hawkeyes — not only has the resume that qualifies her for this new role, she also possesses the infectious charisma that can potentially spark the next wave of excellence within this program.
Among the more impressive notes regarding Baranczyk’s head coaching resume at Drake include a stretch of six straight seasons culminating in 20 or more wins, five Missouri Valley Conference titles, three NCAA Tournament appearances and a pair of MVC Coach of the Year honors. In fact, from 2016 to 2019, her Bulldogs went a combined 53-1 in league play.
With both men’s and women’s basketball embarking on new coaching eras at Oklahoma, it’s a particularly exciting time to be a Sooner fan. So far, it appears both Porter Moser and Jennie Baranczyk have the ideal attitudes to take their respective programs to the next level and beyond. Welcome to OU! Boomer!
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! The Sooners shine on the diamond, newcomers continue to make noise during Oklahoma’s spring practices, a Mean Green pitcher is perfectly perfect and more!
- On Tuesday, April 13, newly hired women’s basketball head coach Jennie Baranczyk will hold a press conference where she will be formally introduced into the OU family. The presser is set to tip-off at 4 p.m. CT and will stream live on SoonerSports.TV.
Head coach @SoonersCoachJB will be formally introduced with a press conference on Tuesday at 4 p.m. CT.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_WBBall) April 12, 2021
Due to COVID restrictions, the event will not be open to the public. Fans can follow live on https://t.co/VUxDaC7HEO and @OUontheAir#BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/9alUKtboSg
- In case you missed it, No. 1 Oklahoma took care of business over the weekend with a pair of run-rule, shutout victories over Mississippi State and Louisiana Tech. With the wins, the Sooners remain undefeated and improve to 30-0 on the season.
| vs. Mississippi St., at La Tech— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) April 11, 2021
shutouts. run-rules. No. 1 #Sooners outhit MSU and La Tech by a combined - in Saturday W’s led by homers from Jennings, Johns and more dominant pitching.#ChampionshipMindset pic.twitter.com/mP70aANQjb
- OU Baseball (16-15) is back over .500 on the season after claiming a series victory over the Kansas Jayhawks this past weekend. Next, the Sooners will be back in action this Tuesday against Texas Southern.
- Freshman WR Mario Williams has reportedly been lighting things up during Oklahoma’s spring practices. The speedster arrived to Norman with a ton of hype, but according to his coached and teammates, he’s meeting those expectations and then some. OU Insider’s Joey Helmer has more.
- Also from Helmer, Tennessee Volunteers transfer RB Eric Gray might be the Sooners’ most versatile back going into the 2021 season. When it comes to his pass-catching ability and third down potential, Lincoln Riley could find a number of ways to utilize his unique skill set.
Around the Sports World
- With a one-stroke victory in the 2021 Master Tournament, Hideki Matsuyama made history on Sunday by becoming the first male golfer from Japan to win a major championship. Awesome stuff.
- Eddie George — the 1995 Heisman Trophy winner out of Ohio State and four-time Pro Bowler for the Tennessee Titans organization — has reportedly been named the next head coach of Tennessee State (FCS).
- On Sunday, North Texas Softball pitcher Hope Trautwein became the first player in D-I to throw a perfect game while striking out all 21 batters in all seven innings in a 3-0 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. That is beyond impressive.
Hope makes history!@hopetraut struck out all 21 batters she faced to record the first perfect game in program history for @MeanGreenSB in a 3-0 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday.#NCAASoftball pic.twitter.com/2wWCr8VxLf— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) April 12, 2021
- Golden State Warriors rookie center James Wiseman — the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft — is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn meniscus he suffered on Saturday in a 125-109 win over the Houston Rockets.
- Los Angeles Angels veteran centerfielder Dexter Fowler suffered a torn ACL in 7-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays and will have to miss the next six to nine months for recovery.
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