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BW Women's Basketball: A Championship Program

Do you want to get a high-quality education and play college basketball in a championship program where you are well-coached by an Ohio College Basketball Hall of Famer and her staff?

Do you want to have a chance to win a championship every year, and at the same time have a ton of fun with teammates who will become your friends for life?

Do you want to be a member of a championship team that has among the best team grade point averages in all of college basketball?

Then the Baldwin Wallace University Women's Basketball Program is for YOU!

Why is Baldwin Wallace A Great Choice for You?

The Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball program is one of the finest in NCAA Division III. Entering its game this Friday, March 16 versus Haverford (Pa.) College in this week's 2020 NCAA Division III National Tournament, the Yellow Jackets have a 26-2 record and captured both an Ohio Athletic Conference regular season title and the prestigious OAC Tournament Championship. The ultimate goal now is to win the 2020 NCAA Division III National Championship on March 20-21 at the Capital Center in Columbus, Ohio!

Every Year, BW Competes for a Championship

For three decades, Head Coach Cheri Harrer's Yellow Jackets annually have competed for an OAC title both during the regular season and in the OAC Tournament and a berth in the Div. III National Tournament. 

The BW women have 28 straight winning seasons, including four seasons of 21-or-more victories during the past seven seasons.

View the Yellow Jacket Timeline for Success

An NCAA Berth A Year Ago and Four in the Past Seven Years

Last winter, Harrer and her Yellow Jackets finished 20-8 overall and advanced to the second round of the 2019 NCAA Division III National Tournament.

And, in both 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, BW advanced to the "Big Dance"!

In 2013-2014, BW was the OAC regular season co-champion and won two games in the 2014 NCAA National Tournament and advanced to the "Sweet 16" for the fifth time in school history. In 2014-2015, the Yellow Jackets tied for second during the OAC regular season, won the OAC Tournament title and again played in the NCAA Division III National Tournament.

"We are pleased with the success that our women's basketball program has enjoyed," said Harrer, the winningest women's basketball coach in school history and a 610-223 mark with an outstanding .732 winning percentage in 30 seasons.  "Our ultimate goal is to win the NCAA Division III National Championship. We are committed to making that happen and will continue to work hard to make that possibility a reality."

Cheri Harrer's Women's Basketball Program Highlights

  • 15 berths to the NCAA Division III National Tournament over the past 20 years
  • THREE "Elite Eight" finishes (1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2005-2006)
  • FIVE "Sweet 16" appearances in the NCAA Division III National Tournament (last in 2019-20)
  • Nine OAC regular season titles
  • Seven OAC Tournament crowns
  • 28 straight winning seasons with at least 15 victories
  • 17 seasons with at least 20 wins in the past 22 years
  • Head Coach Cheri Harrer is a four-time OAC Coach of the Year

Study Table Prepares Student-Athletes at BW

All first-year student in the Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball program are required to attend a study table to help with studies during their first two semesters at co llege.  At the study table, first-year student receive guidance on mastering college work.  Overall, it has provided a solid transition for the first-year student to the collegiate academic and athletic experience.

"Making sure that our student-athletes receive a quality education is a priority at BW," said Harrer.  "Our study table is helping those who want to improve their study skills.  We believe that it provides a strong transition from high school to college for our first-year players."

During each academic semester, progress forms are sent to every professor in an effort to monitor each student-athlete's experience.  After the second semester, only those student-athletes below a 3.0 grade point average are required to attend the study table.  Annually, BW is ranked by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) in its Top 25 Honor Roll.

In 2014-2015, Harrer's Yellow Jacket team had close to a 3.6 grade point average and 10 of the 19 student-athletes made the Dean's List. In 2015-2016, she had five of her key student-athletes selected to the Academic All-OAC squad. In 2017-2018, her squad had a better than 3.4 team grade point average and a record eight student-athletes were named Academic All-OAC and one earned CoSIDA Division III Academic All-District 7 honors. A year ago, the GPA increased to 3.58 with nine Academic All-OAC players. This year's team has nine.

Cheri Harrer's teams annually rank in the WBCA's Top 25 Honor Roll.

"We are very proud of our women's basketball student-athletes who excel in the classroom, on the court and on our campus as leaders," said Harrer, who was an Academic All-American as an undergraduate student-athlete at the University of Findlay.  "Our young women of the past have set the standard for our current student-athletes to match."

For instance, this year's four All-Ohio Athletic Conference selections, seniors Hannah Fecht '20, Riley Schill '20, Kara Marshall '20 and Lilly Edwards '22 take their academics seriously. Fecht (3.5 grade point average in exercise science and athletic training) and Schill (3.97 grade average in biology and pre-veternary medicine) were first-team All-OAC selections. Marshall (3.76 grade average in pre-physical therapy) was a second-team choice. Edwards (3.76 grade average in exercise science) made honorable mention All-OAC accolades. The "proof is in the pudding"!

Just a few of BW's Academic Standouts...

  • Jen Swinehart '99
  • Mandy Zolciak '01
  • Emily Clark '02
  • Holy Koepp '03
  • Sarah Gordon '03
  • Erika Schultz '04
  • Karissa Kusick '04
  • Lindsay Meek '04
  • Nikki Altenweg '06
  • Michelle White '07
  • Steffani Jaworski '07 
  • Ariel Brough '10
  • Catherine Spisak '12
  • Audrey Smolik '15/ Shari Mangas '15
  • Sydney Clark '17/ Mackenzie Colombo '17
  • Katie Smith '18/ Megan Schubert '18
  • Rachael Womeldorf '19
  • Riley Schill '20 / Kasey Hughes '20 / Kara Marshall '20

In 2009-2010, graduated center Ariel Brough '10 (Powell/ Olentangy-Liberty) earned third-team CAPITAL ONE Academic All-American honors and was awarded the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA/ Charles T. Stoner Law Scholarship.

Audrey Smolik (Strongsville) '16, was a three-time Academic All-OAC student-athlete, an OAC Scholar-Athlete of the Month (January 2014) and a first-team CAPITAL ONE Academic All-District 7 selection. She carried a 3.89 grade point average in education.

Read the BW women's basketball blog

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Updated on March 4, 2020