Oklahoma Athletics

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma head women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale was selected the winner of a United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award, announced today by Celebrate Positive.

This award honors and recognizes individuals, businesses, athletes, sports teams, entertainers and schools around the world for their positive contributions.

"This is really a program award,” Coale said. “I accept it on behalf of our current staff and players and all of our former coaches and players who continue to give back and lead through service in their respective communities.

“I appreciate the recognition for our program but, as our players past and present can attest, the rewards come from the doing. It is an honor to have such a platform from which to serve."

Coale was voted the winner of the inaugural award in the sports coach category. Nominated by Adam Barnett, college pastor of Journey Church in Norman, Coale was chosen from a pool that included Kansas men’s basketball head coach Bill Self, Kentucky’s John Calipari, IUPUI head coach Ron Hunter, South Dakota State’s Scott Nagy, Tennessee Tech’s Mike Sutton and Glenforest School’s William Knopf.

The award will be presented during a pre-game ceremony Wednesday night when the Sooners host Kansas State at 7 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center. On site to recognize Coale will be Rotary International District #5770 Governor Glenda Thomas and Celebrate Positive President and CEO Scott Pederson.

"Celebrate Positive congratulates Sherri Coale for exemplifying what giving back to the community means," Pederson said. "Coach Coale's positive impact goes beyond the Oklahoma community. Her concern for the international community has inspired her players and Sooner fans everywhere. " 

The 2010 Positive Peace Award nominees were judged by the United Nations NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations) Voting Academy comprised of highly respected United Nations NGOs, such as Rotary International, Pathways to Peace and Sister Cities International. The voting academy established criteria of a coach's community involvement and impact on their community to determine this year's winner.

"Sherri Coale is uniquely gifted as a leader, teacher and mentor," said OU Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. "Her coaching accomplishments highlighted by significant numbers of victories and championships are overwhelming, but no more so than the profound impact she has had on the lives of those she has coached.

"Sherri takes a unique interest in their personal development and I am often impressed at the way young people grow and mature under her guidance. As a former classroom educator, she places great emphasis on academic performance and it shows in the outstanding grade point averages and graduation rates we see in her program."