Mishawaka, Ind., native Sharon Versyp orchestrated one of the nation's top turn-arounds in her first and only season as head women's basketball coach at Indiana University. She has an overall ledger of 117-65 (.646).
Versyp led the Hoosiers to a 19-14 record overall and a 9-7 mark in the Big Ten Conference in her inaugural season and guided the team to its first post-season appearance, the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), since 2001-02. Not only did IU finish with a winning record for the first time in three years and triple its Big Ten wins total from a season ago, but it also claimed two wins over Top-25 teams, including a 63-61 overtime decision over then-No. 10 Purdue on Feb. 19, 2006 and a 61-46 win against then-No. 20 Minnesota in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on March 2, 2006.
Versyp went down in the record books as one of the most successful first-year head coaches in IU history. The nine win improvement from 2004-05 to 2005-06 is the second-best one year improvement in school history. Versyp also is one of just three active Big Ten coaches to earn a winning record in their first year as head coach following a losing season prior to their arrival.
In 2006, she mentored All-Big Ten selections, Cyndi Valentin (first team), Jenny DeMuth (second team coaches, third team media) and Whitney Thomas (freshman team). Valentin broke the NCAA Division I record for consecutive free throws made with 61, while DeMuth snared schools records in career free throws attempted (688), career free throws made (514) and career steals (230).
A solid recruiter, Versyp is responsible for bringing in four high school standouts, including two 2006 Gatorade State Players of the Year, Shanice Billington and Jamie Braun for 2006-07. The recruiting class was recognized as the 38th-best class according to Blue Star Report and received honorable mention status according to the All-Star Girls Report.
Prior to her arrival in Bloomington, Versyp served as the head coach at the University of Maine for five seasons (2000-2005). She led the Black Bears to three-straight America East regular season championships (2003, 2004, 2005), the 2004 America East Tournament title and a trip to the 2004 NCAA Tournament. In addition to on-court success, Maine annually ranks among the nation's top 40 in attendance. Versyp earned 2003 and 2005 America East Coach of the Year honors.
By recording a 25-7 mark in 2003-04 and a 25-6 record in 2002-03, the Black Bears posted back-to-back 25-win campaigns for the first time in school history. In 2004-05, Maine finished with a 20-10 record and played in the WNIT for the second time in Versyp's head coaching career. During Versyp's tenure, Maine student-athletes earned America East, Rookie and Defensive Player of the Year accolades and have garnered 15 all-conference honors in her five years with the Black Bears. Versyp also coached 2003 and 2004 America East Player of the Year, Heather Ernest, who was an invitee to the USA Basketball National Team Trials and is now playing professionally in Luxembourg.
Versyp also served as the top assistant at James Madison University for three seasons (1998-2000) under head coach Bud Childers. During her stint at JMU, she served as the program's recruiting coordinator and was responsible for securing a top 25 class in 1999. Before heading to JMU, Versyp was an assistant coach at the University of Louisville for the 1996-97 season. The Cardinals were 20-9 that year, sharing the Conference USA regular season crown and earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Her coaching career began at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis from 1989-1993, where she took an 0-18 team and led it to a sectional runner-up finish in just two seasons. Versyp also had a stint as the head coach of Benton Central High School in Oxford, Ind., from 1993-1996.
Versyp's student-athletes excel on and off the court. For example, Maine ranked 13th in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division I National Top 25 Team Academic Honor Roll in 2005, and two Hoosiers earned 2006 Academic All-Big Ten honors in Leah Enterline and Kali Kullberg.
Versyp knows what it takes to succeed in basketball not only as a coach, but as a player as well. In 1984, she earned Indiana's prestigious Miss Basketball honor. Versyp went on to play at Purdue University, where she became one of seven players in Boilermaker history to be a four-year starter. During her playing career, she competed in the 1985 U.S. Olympic Festival Trials, was an All-Big Ten selection in 1988 and earned CoSIDA Academic All-American honors that same season. Her 1,565 career points still rank ninth in the Purdue record books. She also sits at fourth in single game assists (12) and seventh in career assists (418).
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