BEREA, OHIO -- Baldwin Wallace University 27-year women's basketball Head Coach Cheri Harrer is a consummate winner. She's been a winner her entire life and continues to spend her time making her Yellow Jackets winners both in the classroom and on the basketball court.
Harrer, who was a student-athlete at the University of Findlay, was an Academic All-American and played on winning teams in multiple sports. She is the second all-time winningest women's basketball coach in the 114-year history of the Ohio Athletic Conference with a record of 538-199. Harrer has led her teams to eight OAC regular season titles, six OAC Tournament crowns, 13 NCAA Division III national tournament appearances and four "Elite Eight" finishes but her biggest accomplishment is that her team is one of the best in the classroom every year.
This past fall, Harrer's 18-player roster combined to compile an outstanding 3.596 cumulative grade point average. The team includes three returning Academic All-OAC selections and starters in senior All-OAC point guard Mackenzie Colombo (Strasburg), senior All-OAC forward Sydney Clark (Parma/Lake Ridge Academy) and junior guard Katie Smith (Fairview Park/Fairview). Smith leads the team with a 3.9 grade point average (GPA) in pre-physical therapy. Colombo is a close second as she carries better than 3.8 GPA in communication disorders and Clark has a better than 3.7 GPA in public relations.
"Academics always come first," said Harrer. "That is the first thing we tell a recruit when we speak with her and her parents.
"We also are extremely successful on the basketball court and in our professional careers after graduation," said Harrer. "We have had some great leaders over the years who are just outstanding student-athletes and basketball players. We are very proud of the tradition of the scholar women's basketball student-athlete we have created and maintained at BW. To see this year's team, have a 3.596 grade average during the fall semester is just another indicator that we are recruiting the right student and athlete to BW."
On the court this season, Harrer's team has fashioned a record of 11-2 overall and a 4-2 mark in the OAC entering its Wednesday, January 11 home game versus 14th-nationally ranked and OAC-leader Ohio Northern University in the Rudolph Ursprung Gymnasium in the Lou Higgins Center at 7:30 p.m.