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Pohlman promoted to Drake head coach

PHOTO PROVIDED - Former Drake women’s basketball assistant coach Allison Pohlman, left, has been promoted to head coach after the departure of Jennie Baranczyk to the University of Oklahoma.

DES MOINES — Allison Pohlman, a longtime associate head coach and one of the primary architects of the Drake women’s basketball program’s renaissance, has been named the new head coach of the Bulldogs.

Drake director of athletics Brian Hardin announced Pohlman’s hiring on Sunday. A formal introduction of the seventh women’s basketball coach in Drake history will be held today.

Pohlman has been a member of the Drake staff since 2007 and elevated to associate head coach in 2014 by former head coach Jennie Baranczyk. Last week, Baranczyk accepted the head coaching position at Oklahoma after nine seasons at Drake.

“Allison has been a critical part of our women’s basketball program’s success. Throughout this process, it became incredibly apparent that in addition to her proven record of achievement as an assistant, she also possessed the perfect combination of vision, drive and leadership to continue the ascent of our program as its head coach,” Hardin said. “Her passion for our program, university and student-athletes is unrivaled. Allison’s values align perfectly with our athletic department and I know she will continue the Drake women’s basketball tradition of developing strong women leaders both on the basketball court and in life.”

In her 14 years on the Drake campus, Pohlman has crafted and established a proven legacy of culture building, on-court excellence and the ability to recruit and develop some of the finest student-athletes in Drake history.

“This truly is a dream come true,” Pohlman said. “I’ve always held Drake in the highest regard and every day I am reminded of the prominence of this program as I walk through the Knapp Center and see the tradition displayed on those banners. I’m grateful to President Martin and Brian Hardin for having the faith and trust in me to continue that tradition. I’m ecstatic about not only this opportunity, but the people I get to do it with.

“It was an honor to work with Jennie to create the success we had and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to build upon that success.”

As the Bulldogs’ recruiting coordinator under Baranczyk, Pohlman has assembled rosters that advanced to three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, won four regular-season Missouri Valley Conference titles, two MVC Tournament championships and an overall record of 123-39.

Pohlman’s success and familiarity in the MVC and within the state of Iowa run even deeper than her 14 years at Drake.

Before joining the Drake staff, the Wellsburg native spent seven seasons on staff at UNI and served as the Panthers’ associate head coach during the 2006-07 campaign. She began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at UNI in 2000-01.

As a player from 1996-2000, the former Allison Starr was one of the top players in UNI history. In 1997, she was named to the MVC’s All-Freshman team. In each of her final three seasons, she was named All-MVC First Team and to The Valley’s All-Defensive Team.

She was runner-up to Jackie Stiles for the MVC’s Player of the Year award in 2000 and named The Valley’s Defensive Player of the Year.

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