New women’s basketball coach named

State Hornet Staff

Although Sacramento State’s women’s basketball team’s coach has changed, it’s style of play has not.

After three weeks of searching, Athletic Director Terry Wanless named Bunky Harkleroad as the eighth head coach in the program’s history.

Jamie Craighead, who coached the Hornets the last four seasons, left Sept. 16 when she received the head coaching position at San Jose State. 

“We’re very excited to welcome Coach Harkleroad to the Hornet family,” Wanless said. “He brings a high energy offensive philosophy that we believe will be successful in the Big Sky [Conference]. 

Harkleroad coached at Glenville State College, an NCAA Division II school in Glenville, W. Va. Over the last four seasons, he compiled a 91-30 record and made two NCAA Div. II Tournament appearances. He was also a finalist for NCAA Div. II Coach of the Year.

Harkleroad’s uptempo style of play is similar to the way the Hornets ran under Craighead. Last year, his team averaged 95.3 points per game, made 433 3-pointers and outscored the opposition by an average of 18 points. He also finished with a record of 47-3 at home and said the Hornets will dictate the style of the game played. 

“We are going to establish a territory, and it’s going to look like one of our practices rather than one of our opponent’s practices,” Harkleroad said. “Our home games are going to be the best times in Division I basketball.”

Before Harkleroad coached at Glenville State, he was head coach at his alma mater, Berea College in Berea, Ky. During his nine seasons there, he led the Mountaineers to five 20-win seasons.

Sac State returns both starting guards Fantasia Hilliard and Alle Moreno to lead a team that has been accustomed to playing the fast-paced style of offense that former coach Jamie Craighead preached.

Moreno said she feels relieved that she finally knows who will be coaching the team this upcoming season, and that his style of play is similar to the previous three seasons.

“He wants us be the aggressor at all times and take charge of the game,” Moreno said. “It will be mainly the same thing that Jamie had us run, but he is going to turn it up a notch.”

Sac State starts its season Nov. 3 in an exhibition game against UC Santa Cruz, and within just two days of getting the job, Harkleroad already has his goals set in place.

“We want to win a Big Sky Championship and be the most exciting team in women’s basketball,” Harkleroad said.

Ryan can be reached at @rskuhn