New Oklahoma women's basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk didn’t have to look far to see a familiar face.
Driving up to Lloyd Noble Center with her family on Tuesday for her introductory press conference, there it was: new men's basketball coach Porter Moser.
“My kids said, ‘Oh look, there you are mom — and why is the Loyola coach on the building?’ ” Baranczyk said. “And so we had to say, ‘Hey, we're actually here together.’ And they were like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so cool.’ ”
Baranczyk and Moser both come to Oklahoma from the Missouri Valley Conference, where Baranczyk turned Drake into a mini-dynasty and Moser built Loyola Chicago into a March darling.
She couldn’t exactly mask her enthusiasm for getting to work alongside Moser.
“He is great,” Baranczyk said. “He’s got great energy, he's so supportive. He has a daughter that plays basketball and so I think that's something that's really unique as well. And so I told him — the five seconds that we've talked — there'll be no bigger cheerleader than me, and I know that will be reciprocated.”
In fact, Moser sat ringside Tuesday as Baranczyk took was introduced by athletic director Joe Castiglione and then took questions from the media.
“It’s going to be an awesome relationship,” she said. “We're going to support each other and help each other grow and I couldn't be more excited about that.”
It’ll start with recruiting. In The Valley, Baranczyk and Moser went toe-to-to for recruits with the likes of Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Evansville and Valparaiso.
In the Big 12, they’ll be recruiting against the likes of Baylor, Texas, Kansas and West Virginia.
Baranczyk said she wants to start that process at the grassroots level.
“There's a lot of talent here in Oklahoma,” she said. “ … First, we want people that want to come here that are very talented. There's talent here, right? But they live and die this, and they were born Sooners. Those are the people that we want. We want to open the doors for little girls to come in here, grow up here, look at these women and want to become them — and then actually take on that step later in life where they actually do become an Oklahoma Sooner women's basketball player.
“That's where we're gonna start, but we'll continue to expand. So some things will be different playing in the Big 12 That's a different — that's a different level. So yes, we will be able to have access and be able to recruit at a higher level because we're at Oklahoma. But in terms of starting home first, that's where we'll start.”
Castiglione conducted two coaching searches simultaneously that took him to one conference, two schools five hours apart on the same latitude. Baranczyk said she sees big things ahead as she and Moser share Lloyd Noble Center.
“To work with somebody like that is also a dream come true,” she said, “because when you have a group of coaches that support each other, love each other and care about each other, and you have university and administrative support, then really great things tend to find you. And that's what's going to continue to happen here at Oklahoma.”