Joe Castiglione continues to prove to be one of the best recruiters at Oklahoma.
Filling the empty post to head the men’s basketball program, he lured Porter Moser from his stomping grounds in Chicago. The opportunity to jump from Loyola Chicago to Oklahoma proved to be too good to pass up, and Castiglione sold the culture he’s built in Norman, ultimately getting Moser to sign on the dotted line.
Now to replace Sherri Coale, Joe C. once again convinced a proven head coach to leave her home.
Jennie Baranczyk first patrolled the courts of Des Moines, IA, as a girl, watching her sister practice and mixing it up with the boys at the local YMCA. Years later, she returned to her hometown to conquer the Missouri Valley Conference as the head coach at Drake University.
But Baranczyk too said the pull of Oklahoma allowed her to leave home to tackle a new challenge.
“It was hard to leave to Des Moines. I grew up there. I grew up as a coach there,” Baranczyk said Tuesday in her introductory press conference at the Lloyd Noble Center. “But then I saw, it's Oklahoma. And it's this incredible opportunity. And you look at those banners and you watch the women that have come through this program and you watch it, the women that are in this program, and then you think about the potential of the women that can come to this program and the impact that they can make.
“And so that's really what really made me really want to come in and dive in.”
Oddly enough for Castiglione, he was able to not just convince a pair of successful hometown coaches to join the Oklahoma family, he plucked two of the brightest stars in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Baranczyk said the Missouri Valley helps prepare a coach to battle against the best in the country, allowing the league to produce two sought after coaching candidates for the Sooners.
“You can schedule at a high level the nonconference, and that makes a big difference in terms of being able to really build and produce winning basketball teams,” Baranczyk said. “There's a commitment level to basketball in that conference, and I think that's what both Porter and myself have both benefited from.”
In 2018, both Loyola Chicago and Drake were the last programs standing at Arch Madness, the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, and Baranczyk and Moser combined to win four confernece tournaments during their tenures in the league.
But now at OU, both are presented the opportunity to raise their level and elevate the ceiling of their programs.
“This is a tremendous program with a strong foundation developed by a much admired coach in Sherri Coale,” Baranczyk said. “Oklahoma has the pedigree and we have the opportunity to do some really special things in this building.”
Baranczyk, like Moser, said she hopes to once again bring a fresh and exciting product that will rejuvenate the crowds at the Lloyd Noble Center.
"We could not be more excited to be able to be here," she said, "and to be able to have this be a place that is full of people cheering on Oklahoma."