Courtesy of Miami Athletic Communications
OXFORD, Ohio – Cleve Wright, the head coach of Gannon University the past 11 seasons, has been named to direct the Miami University women’s basketball team, Director of Athletics David Sayler announced Friday (April 19).
“The Miami Department of Athletics is excited to announce the addition of Cleve Wright and his family to the RedHawk community,” said Sayler. “Cleve brings experience and skills that fit our needs perfectly, and we are thrilled to welcome him as our head women’s basketball coach.”
Wright won 70 percent of his games at Gannon (233-100), turning the Lady Knights into a Division II powerhouse. Last season, he led Gannon to a 31-5 record and an appearance in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. The team finished the season ranked sixth in the country. Wright has brought the Lady Knights to the NCAA Tournament in five of the past seven seasons, with his best year coming in 2009-10 when he was named the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year after guiding them to a 37-1 record and an NCAA Final Four appearance. He has coached seven All-Americans and 34 all-conference selections.
“I want to thank President (David) Hodge, David Sayler and the administration for their confidence in me to be the next women’s basketball coach at Miami University,” said Wright. “Miami is a wonderful place. My family and I are excited to move here and begin the next chapter of RedHawk women’s basketball.”
Gannon’s women’s basketball program has been extremely successful in the classroom as well under Wright. The Lady Knights have been ranked among the top 25 teams in GPA in seven of the past eight years. In addition, 70 players have earned all-conference academic honors.
Wright joined Gannon after a three-year stint (1999-2002) as the top assistant at Northwestern under head coach June Olkowski. While with the Wildcats, he was responsible for the development of the post players and was the team’s recruiting coordinator.
Prior to his time at Northwestern, Wright spent two seasons as an assistant coach with Olkowski at Butler. He also spent four seasons (1993-97) as the head coach at Southwestern High School in Somerset, Ky., and was an assistant coach at Duke during the 1992-93 season.
Wright earned his bachelor’s degree from Berea College (Kentucky) in 1989. He competed on both the men’s basketball and track teams, while serving as a student assistant coach for the women’s team. He earned a master’s degree in physical education from Ball State in 1992, working as a graduate assistant coach there for two seasons (1990-92).
Wright has served as a NCAA Division II representative to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Board of Directors since 2010. He has worked with the WBCA in various capacities the past eight years.
Wright is married to the former Diane McKinley. They have two daughters, Chloe (16) and Emma (14).