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Sports >  EWU basketball

Eastern Washington picks former Seattle University associate head coach Joddie Gleason to lead Eagles women’s basketball program

UPDATED: Fri., May 21, 2021

For the first time in 20 years, Eastern Washington has a new head women’s basketball coach.

Former Seattle University associate head coach Joddie Gleason will take over the helm in Cheney, EWU confirmed, and will be introduced in a news conference on Monday.

Gleason replaces Wendy Schuller, who was fired April 1 following her third consecutive losing season and a 277-322 overall record.

Sources recently told The Spokesman-Review that the two finalists to replace Schuller were Gleason and Wyoming associate head coach Heather Ezell.

Gleason spent six seasons at Seattle University, a program that’s struggled since reaching its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018. The Redhawks finished 11-14 this season, after going 13-16 in 2020 and 3-27 in 2019.

Her husband, Skip Gleason, also shared the bench as an assistant on a Seattle coaching staff led by sixth-year head coach Suzy Barcomb.

EWU athletic director Lynn Hickey, a former head women’s basketball coach at Texas A&M and Kansas State, is excited about the new hire.

“She brings a wealth of coaching and leadership experience to our program, as well as having outstanding networking and recruiting connections in our state and region,” Hickey said. “Joddie and her family are a great fit for Eastern Washington University and we look forward to working with her to help rebuild our program to be a dominant force in Big Sky women’s basketball competition.”

Before making the jump to NCAA Division I, Gleason had a 12-year run as the head coach at Division II Humboldt State in California, compiling a 201-137 record.

Gleason, the 2015 California Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year, helped the Lumberjacks reach four NCAA Tournaments and helped secure the program’s first conference title in 2015.

The former Chico State University standout and 1992 NCAA Division II All-American was also head coach at Butte (California) Community College for five seasons, going 107-45.

Gleason inherits an EWU program that finished 6-17 last season and had more than half of its roster enter the NCAA transfer portal, including departed key players Maisie Burnham (Portland), Jenna Dick (Tartleton State) and Grace Kirscher (Western Colorado).

“I can’t wait to start working with this group of young women and to build something special that the passionate Eagle fans can be proud of,” Gleason said.

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