It didn’t even take two weeks for Megan Duffy to fill the vacancy on her coaching staff. On Monday, Marquette Golden Eagles women’s basketball announced that Itoro (pronounced E-tore-uh according to her old Penn State bio) Coleman has been hired to replace Scott Merritt on the Golden Eagles bench.
Here’s Duffy’s quote from the Marquette press release:
“We are thrilled to welcome Itoro Coleman, her husband Harold and their family to Marquette,” Duffy said. “I was blown away by her commitment to excellence both on and off the court. Itoro brings an incredible passion and competitiveness to the game of basketball and will make an immediate impact on both current and future Marquette student-athletes.”
And then Coleman’s statement:
“I am extremely excited to be a part of the Marquette family,” Coleman said. “Megan is a well-respected coach in our profession. Her love for the student-athletes and her will to be the best is infectious. When you have a proven winner in your leader combined with winning tradition and winning culture great things happen. I am grateful for this opportunity and looking forward to getting started.”
Coleman already has one connection to Marquette hoops, believe it or not. She played for Clemson from 1995-1999, taking part in the NCAA tournament each and every year she wore Tigers orange. That means that she was a member of the #5 seeded Clemson team that lost, 70-66, to Terri Mitchell’s #12 seeded Golden Eagles team down in Baton Rouge. If anyone knows where to track down a box score of said game, shout it out in the comments.
In addition to a decorated playing career with three all-ACC honors and the captain’s spot on the Nigerian Olympic team in 2004, Coleman has also been an assistant coach at Butler, Penn State, and her alma mater. She was also the head coach at Clemson from 2010 through 2013. That, uh, did not go as well as her playing career did, as she finished with a record of 25-63. She spent a total of eight years in two different stretches on the Penn State sideline working for head coach Coquese Washington. Coleman joined the Nittany Lions staff when Washington was hired in 2007, left for the Clemson top spot, and then returned to Happy Valley after she was let go after three seasons. Unfortunately, that means she missed all four of Washington’s NCAA tournament appearances, and yes, in case you were wondering, Coleman was part of the staff that was let go and thus paved the way for Carolyn Kieger leaving Marquette for PSU.
Time is a flat circle, etc.
If you go read the official Marquette press release, you can get a rundown of the success that Coleman has had on the recruiting trail. She has been a part of recruiting four top 25 classes, three of them at Penn State. The 2009 and 2010 classes ended up being crucial to Washington’s run of NCAA tournaments. As you can tell, things did not quite work out as well for the third one in 2015, nor her top 25 class at Clemson. It’s never a bad thing to bring in highly regarded players, though, so we’ll see if Coleman can start to repeat that level of success on the recruiting trail for the Golden Eagles. If Duffy can turn a team that she’s never met before into an NCAA tournament team, then I would imagine that she’d be pretty good with a couple of top 25 classes that she actually recruited.