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Former Penn State women’s basketball coach lands new Big Ten gig

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Former Penn State women’s basketball head coach Coquese Washington is heading back to the Big Ten as a head coach. Rutgers officially announced on Monday it has hired the former Penn State head coach to serve as the program’s new head coach of the women’s basketball program.

Washington was the successor of former Penn State head coach Rene Portland following Portland’s controversial resignation amid controversy for her alleged discrimination of lesbian players in 2007. Washington took on the Penn State head coaching job as her first professional head coaching opportunity, and she held the job for 12 seasons when Penn State chose to not bring her back after the 2019 season. Prior to coming to Penn State, Washington was an assistant coach for her alma mater, Notre Dame. After moving on from Penn State, Washington spent one season as an assistant head coach for Oklahoma and returned to Notre Dame in 2020 for two more seasons back in South Bend as an assistant.

Washington earned multiple Big Ten coach of the year honors during her time at Penn State (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14) and took the Lady Lions to four NCAA women’s basketball tournaments and three trips to the women’s NIT. Penn State advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2012 and 2014 and combined for a record of 76-20 during that three-year run.

At Rutgers, Washington will replace the legendary Vivian Stringer, a 2009 inductee to the Basketball Hall of Fame who has coached teams to four Final Four appearances (one with Iowa and three more with Rutgers), three Big East titles (Rutgers), and 10 regular season or conference tournament Big Ten championships (between Iowa and Rutgers) during the regular season.

For more on the former Penn State head coach’s next job, follow the ongoing coverage from our friends at Rutgers Wire.

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