April 16, 2010
Allison George, 404-413-4032
Georgia State Athletics
ATLANTA - Sharon Baldwin-Tener has been named the Head Women's Basketball Coach at GSU followingan extensive national search, Georgia State Director of Athletics Cheryl L. Levick announced today.
Baldwin-Tener, who has 11 years of head coaching experience, spent the last eight seasons as the head coach at East Carolina University in Conference USA. Her 126 wins at ECU are a school record.
It is also a homecoming for Baldwin-Tener, who was a high school player in Smyrna, a college player at Kennesaw State and the University of Georgia, an assistant coach at UGA and a head coach at Life University in Marietta.
"We are thrilled to welcome Sharon Baldwin-Tener to the Georgia State family as our women's basketball coach," said Director of Athletics Cheryl L. Levick. "She is a proven winner as a head coach and a well-respected national recruiter. Her personal tenacious effort and winning attitude permeates into her team and the results reflect that desire. Sharon's preparation finds opponents weaknesses and her teams do everything to capitalize on those opportunities. Everywhere she has been, she has turned teams into consistent winners and it hasn't been by accident. We know she is the right coach for Georgia State and we are excited about what she brings to our program."
"I see the potential of Georgia State as too good of an opportunity to pass up," said Baldwin-Tener. "I feel I am the right person, at the right time, for the right job. With Cheryl Levick's strong support and leadership, I am confident that great things are ahead for GSU basketball and am anxious to get the work started."
In eight years, she turned the East Carolina women's basketball program around, winning 126 games, while earning postseason bids to the NCAA and WNIT tournaments. The Lady Pirates of ECU won the C-USA Tournament in 2007. Her teams posted 90 wins over the past five seasons. Coach Baldwin-Tener saw every player that finished her eligibility at ECU graduate with a college degree.
This year, her 23-11 ECU team was No. 37 in the NCAA in scoring, while ranking No. 12 in three-point FG percentage, No. 14 in overall FG percentage, No. 19 in assists and No. 42 in rebound margin among the 345 Division I colleges and universities. The team advanced to the WNIT and defeated Drexel of the CAA in the first round before bowing to Maryland. The 2007 ECU 19-win team had earned the school's first NCAA Tournament bid since 1982.
Those eight years at ECU followed her 2001-02 season as the Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year honor in her only season at Mercer University in Macon. She turned a six-win team into a 16-win team, including a pair of wins over NCAA Tournament bound GSU.
She first gained notice as the NAIA National Coach of the Year at Life University, where she began that program with a final No. 7 ranking in its first year and produced a 31-3 team ranked No.1 in the national polls in her second season (2001).
In 11 years as a head coach, Baldwin-Tener, 42, has a 195-142 overall record.
Her assistant coaching career was highlighted by being named the Naismith National Assistant Coach of the Year (1997) while she was in her seventh and final year at the University of Georgia under head coach Andy Landers. With her recruiting help, the Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Championship game in 1996 with a final No. 2 ranking, as well as a No. 4 ranking in 1995 and a No. 6 ranking in 1997. Georgia's 1993 recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in the country and the 1997 class was No. 2.
Baldwin-Tener arrived at East Carolina University in 2002 with solid credentials and the reputation of a program-builder. When she arrived at ECU, they were coming off a 6-21 season in 2001-02. In her eight years with the Lady Pirate program, she exceeded expectations. Given the task of resurrecting a program that had 18 winning seasons in its first 23 years from 1969-1992, she quickly left her mark and molded ECU into a championship contender.
What Baldwin-Tener did since she accepted the ECU position was clear not only in the community, but also the country. The squad's RPI rating improved nearly 150 spots and attendance quadrupled. In 2009-10, her team finished No. 83 among the 345 Division I colleges in the RPI ranking system used by the NCAA.
Baldwin-Tener's aforementioned penchant for being a program-maker rang true in the three years she spent at Life University. She literally built the program from the ground as the NAIA affiliated University did not sponsor women's basketball until her arrival. In two seasons of competition, the Lady Eagles compiled a stellar record of 53-14. In the program's first season (1999-2000), Baldwin-Tener led Life to a 22-11 mark as the Lady Eagles advanced to the NAIA Sweet Sixteen. In year two, Life's Lady Eagles put together a remarkable 31-3 record, including a 19-game winning streak, and advanced to the Elite Eight of the national tournament. Life ended the season as the No. 1 team in the final NAIA national poll. Baldwin-Tener added more hardware to her resume that season as she was named the WBCA NAIA National Coach-of-the-Year for the first time and earned her second-straight Naismith Georgia NAIA Division III Coach-of-the-Year honor.
She enjoyed a successful playing career at both the high school and collegiate levels. At Wills High School (merged with Campbell) in Smyrna, Ga., she averaged 21 points per contest as a senior and was named the 1985 Georgia Class 4A State Player-of-the-Year. Out of high school, Baldwin- Tener signed with Kennesaw State University and played there for two seasons before transferring to Georgia. At Kennesaw, she was an all-district and all-conference selection, averaging 18 points per game as a freshman before upping that mark to 20 as a sophomore.
Baldwin-Tener earned a bachelor's degree in education from Georgia in 1991 and completed her master's of education in 1997, also at Georgia. She and her husband, Matt, have a son Luke and a daughter Samantha.
Georgia State's previous coach the past 16 seasons, Lea Henry, resigned on March 22 with a career mark of 245-222 after a 15-15 season in 2009-10. Baldwin-Tener becomes the eighth coach at GSU as it embarks on its 36th season of NCAA basketball with four previous bids to the national tournament.
With her Naismith National Coach of the Year award and her National Assistant Coach of the Year award, she joins fellow national Coach of the Year winners Bill Curry (football) and Rod Barnes (men's basketball) on the staff at Georgia State.
To see a video interview with Coach Baldwin-Tener, visit www.georgiastatesports.com.
For information on season tickets for the upcoming 2010-11 season, please call 1-866-GA-STATE.