Lady Lions' Washington signs contract extension

March 19, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State women's basketball coach Coquese Washington, who led the Lady Lions to the three consecutive Big Ten Championships, has received a two-year contract extension, Sandy Barbour, Director of Athletics announced Thursday (March 19). The extension will keep her directing the Lady Lions through at least the 2018-19 campaign.

"Coquese has done an outstanding job with Lady Lion Basketball in her eight years at the helm," Barbour stated. "The on-court success speaks for itself. The team has had a 100 percent graduation rate the past five years and is consistently among our most active teams in community service. There is significant young talent that returns and the four players who signed in November are a consensus Top 15 recruiting class and the highest rated class in program history. The program's future is very bright under Coquese's leadership and I'm excited to see it unfold."

"I have enjoyed being a part of this outstanding university, this athletic department and this women's basketball program during my eight years at Penn State," Washington said. "I know that this contract extension, that we started working on after our 2014 Big Ten Championship, will give our staff the opportunity to continue to build this program into one of the strongest in the country. I have had the opportunity to work with so many fantastic student-athletes, coaches and staff members here at Penn State. I am grateful to Eric Barron, Sandy Barbour and our administration and staff for their tireless support of our program."

Washington guided the Lady Lions to three consecutive Big Ten regular-season titles in 2012, 2013 and 2014, marking the first time in program history that Penn State won three consecutive conference crowns (Big Ten or Atlantic 10). The Lady Lions are among only three Big Ten programs all-time to win three straight conference titles. The three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year led Penn State to four consecutive NCAA Tournament berths (2011-14) with a pair of Sweet Sixteen appearances (2012, 2014).

The Flint, Mich., native has produced three All-Americans in Maggie Lucas, Alex Bentley and Tyra Grant for a total of 14 honors. Lucas, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, finished her career in 2014 as the second-leading scoring in program history and the Big Ten's career leader in three-pointers made en route to being drafted in by the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury. Bentley was a three-time All-Big Ten first team selection and was the 2013 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner for the nation's top player under 5-7. She too has excelled on the next level, earning WNBA All-Rookie team honors, after being a second-round selection by the Atlanta Dream in 2013.

Washington has also succeeded on the recruiting trail, posting three Top 15 classes (2009, 2013, 2015) and bringing in five McDonald's High School All-Americans (Lucas, Dara Taylor, Candice Agee, Sierra Moore, Brianna Banks) and three WBCA High School All-Americans (Nikki Greene, Ariel Edwards, Banks). Prior to Washington's tenure, the Lady Lions had only one McDonald's All-American in program history.

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Last Updated March 19, 2015