The Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball program is one of the finest in NCAA Division III. Entering the 2018-2019 season, the Yellow Jackets will again contend for an Ohio Athletic Conference title and another OAC Tournament championship with the ultimate goal of making its first-ever NCAA Division III Final Four and winning a Div. III national title.
For almost three decades, Head Coach Cheri Harrer's Yellow Jackets annually have competed for an OAC title both during the regular season and in the OAC Tournament and a berth in the Div. III National Tournament.
The BW women have 26 straight winning seasons, including three seasons of 22 victories during the past five years.
In 2013-2014, BW was the OAC regular season co-champion and won two games in the 2014 NCAA National Tournament and advanced to the "Elite Eight" for the fourth time in school history. In 2014-2015, the Yellow Jackets tied for second during the OAC regular season, won the OAC Tournament title and again played in the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
"We are pleased with the success that our women's basketball program has enjoyed," said Harrer, the winningest women's basketball coach in school history and a 564-213 mark with an outstanding .726 winning percentage in 28 seasons. "Our ultimate goal is to win the NCAA Division III National Championship. We are committed to making that happen and will continue to work hard to make that possibility a reality."
Cheri Harrer's Women's Basketball Program Highlights
- 13 berths to the NCAA Division III National Tournament over the past 18 years
- FOUR "Elite Eight" finishes (1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2005-2006 and 2013-2014)
- FIVE "Sweet 16" appearances in the NCAA Division III National Tournament
- Eight OAC regular season titles
- Six OAC Tournament crowns
- 26 straight winning seasons with at least 15 victories
- 15 seasons with at least 20 wins in the past 20 years
- Head Coach Cheri Harrer is a four-time OAC Coach of the Year
Study Table Prepares Student-Athletes at BW
All first-year student in the Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball program are required to attend a study table to help with studies during their first two semesters at co
llege. At the study table, first-year student receive guidance on mastering college work. Overall, it has provided a solid transition for the first-year student to the collegiate academic and athletic experience.
"Making sure that our student-athletes receive a quality education is a priority at BW," said Harrer. "Our study table is helping those who want to improve their study skills. We believe that it provides a strong transition from high school to college for our first-year players."
During each academic semester, progress forms are sent to every professor in an effort to monitor each student-athlete's experience. After the second semester, only those student-athletes below a 3.0 grade point average are required to attend the study table. Annually, BW is ranked by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) in its Top 25 Honor Roll.
In 2014-2015, Harrer's Yellow Jacket team had close to a 3.6 grade point average and 10 of the 19 student-athletes made the Dean's List. In 2015-2016, she had five of her key student-athletes selected to the Academic All-OAC squad. In 2017-2018, her squad had a better than 3.4 team grade point average and a record eight student-athletes were named Academic All-OAC and one earned CoSIDA Division III Academic All-District 7.
Cheri Harrer's teams annually rank in the WBCA's Top 25 Honor Roll.
"We are very proud of our women's basketball student-athletes who excel in the classroom, on the court and on our campus as leaders," said Harrer, who was an Academic All-American as an undergraduate student-athlete at the University of Findlay. "Our young women of the past have set the standard for our current student-athletes to match."
Just a few of BW's Academic Standouts...
- Jen Swinehart '99
- Mandy Zolciak '01
- Emily Clark '02
- Holy Koepp '03
- Sarah Gordon '03
- Erika Schultz '04
- Karissa Kusick '04
- Lindsay Meek '04
- Nikki Altenweg '06
- Michelle White '07
- Steffani Jaworski '07
- Ariel Brough '10
- Catherine Spisak '12
- Audrey Smolik '15/ Shari Mangas '15
- Sydney Clark '17/ Mackenzie Colombo '17
- Katie Smith '18/ Megan Schubert '18
In 2009-2010, graduated center Ariel Brough '10 (Powell/ Olentangy-Liberty) earned third-team CAPITAL ONE Academic All-American honors and was awarded the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA/ www.wbca.org) Charles T. Stoner Law Scholarship.
Audrey Smolik (Strongsville) '16, was a three-time Academic All-OAC student-athlete, an OAC Scholar-Athlete of the Month (January 2014) and a first-team CAPITAL ONE Academic All-District 7 selection. She carried a 3.89 grade point average in education.