Skip to main content

Jennie Baranczyk excited to be at OU long-term: 'Why would I leave?'

headshotby:George Stoia05/14/24


Jennie Baranczyk believes she has a chance to build something special at OU.

Baranczyk, who was the 2023-24 Big 12 Coach of the Year and a national coach of the year finalist, has been one of the hottest names in women’s college basketball. She was mentioned as a top candidate for several head coach openings in April, including at Tennessee.

And when long-time Iowa coach Lisa Bluder retired on Monday, many thought Baranczyk — an Iowa alum — might be a candidate. The Hawkeyes instead promoted from within the program. 

Still, it’s clear top schools are interested in Baranczyk, who has led the Sooners to two Big 12 regular season titles and three consecutive NCAA Tournament second-round appearances in three seasons. But Barancyzk says she has no intentions of leaving Norman. And OU doesn’t want to lose her, which is why it has been working on a long-term extension.

“I have never worried about where other people think you should go,” Baranczyk said. “When I got to Drake, I thought I was going to be at Drake forever. And that was something I thought we could build up — that team and that program. And obviously, as time went on and things changed a little, I knew that it was time to go. But I didn’t know I could find a place I love as much as I loved Drake. And I found that in Oklahoma.”

Baranczyk is starting to hit her stride in Norman. She has put together a roster for the 2024-25 season that many expect to be the best at OU in over a decade. And she believes in the long-term trajectory of the program, having seen the Sooners previously be one of the country’s best women’s college basketball programs. 

“Honestly, I love it here,” Baranczyk said. “I love our administration. They’re so supportive. They allow us to grow, they allow us to fall down. Obviously, you got to see that this season. You got to see us really understand growth and process. I love the people here. I love what we can do here. Even through the scary, chaotic time that no one knows what the future is going to hold for college athletics — we’re in this pivotal time and it’s messy and it’s not clear and we don’t know… When you can trust in your leadership and your president and your athletic director, I think you don’t get that in places. You don’t get really high integrity with the people, you don’t get passionate fanbases. You don’t get a brand of Oklahoma athletics — it’s a big deal. I think that’s what we love.

“To me, it’s less about what makes this place so great, it’s why would you ever leave? I love it and I continue to love it.” 

Adding Raegan Beers

One of the reasons the expectations are so high for the Sooners in 2024 is because of the addition of Oregon State transfer forward Raegan Beers. The 6-foot-2 junior was widely considered the best player in the portal. Last season, she averaged 17.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. 

She chose Oklahoma over UCONN. The Sooners also return 98% of their offensive scoring from last season.

“You’re going to love Raegan as a person,” Baranczyk said. “She’s just incredible. To be able to watch our women interact with her when she came on the visit, that was really neat to be able to see that. Raegan wasn’t necessarily leaving just for a better opportunity. But obviously they had some different circumstances at Oregon State and so she made that decision to leave.

“She also knew the type of chemistry and culture she was looking for and I think that’s what’s really neat. We were one of those programs she wanted to talk to because of that. So the women knew — she’s a need for us with her interior play, but even more, she fits so well from a chemistry standpoint.” 

SEC schedule released

OU also found out its 2024-25 conference schedule on Tuesday. The SEC is widely considered the toughest conference in women’s basketball. And based on the Sooners’ schedule, that certainly appears to check out. 


  • Alabama
  • Auburn
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • Texas
  • Texas A&M
  • Vanderbilt


  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • LSU
  • Ole Miss
  • Mississippi State
  • Missouri
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee

You may also like