After finishing out the 2006-07 season with an appearance in the Patriot League championship, Head Coach Melissa McFerrin enters her fourth season at the helm of American University women's basketball.
The 2006-07 season was the most successful for McFerrin, with AU advancing to the Patriot League championship with wins over Navy and Colgate in the first two rounds of the conference tournament. In its eight point loss to Holy Cross, American fell just short in its quest for a first-ever trip to the NCAA Division I Tournament.
Last season's championship run marked the first time since the 2004 season that the Eagles advanced to the title game. Mcferrin's squad finished the season 13-19 overall, with a 6-8 conference record, with her 13 wins being the most posted in a season during her reign at American University. McFerrin is now 32-56 overall.
McFerrin's first recruiting class continue to prove themselves as successful. Junior transfer Liz Hayes (Easton, Pa./Easton) was named Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year this past season, while also earning Second Team All-Patriot League. Hayes and sophomore Nicole Ryan (Safety Harbor, Fla./Clearwater) represented the Eagles on the Patriot League All-Tournament Team, while Sahar Nusseibeh (Uniontown, Ohio/North Canton Hoover) was named to the All-Patriot League Rookie Team in 2005-06.
In her second season with the Eagles, McFerrin's squad had a 7-21 overall record, posting a 4-9 record in the Patriot League.
In her first season with the squad, AU women's basketball earned a 12-16 overall record, tying McFerrin for most wins by a first year head coach in AU history. American went 7-7 in the Patriot League, earning the fourth seed in the 2005 PL Tournament.
No stranger to success, McFerrin has championship experience at both the college and professional level. As an assistant coach she led Ohio State and Minnesota to the Final Four in 1993 and 2004, respectively. The Golden Gophers also reached the Sweet 16 in 2003, with McFerrin as part of the coaching staff. In 1997, she helped guide the New York Liberty to the WNBA Finals.
McFerrin came to American in 2004 from the University of Minnesota, where she was an associate head coach for the previous two seasons and was responsible for coordinating the Golden Gophers' offense and recruiting efforts. During her two-year tenure, McFerrin helped the UM teams to a combined 50-15 record and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2003 and the Final Four in 2004. Both of McFerrin's recruiting classes were ranked top-20 nationally. Furthermore, McFerrin mentored Lindsay Whalen and Janel McCarville, both of whom earned All Big Ten honors and were named Kodak All-Americans.
McFerrin spent five seasons in the WNBA ranks prior to her time at Minnesota, beginning as an assistant coach with the New York Liberty. In her inaugural season in New York, McFerrin helped guide the Liberty to a runner-up showing.
Washington, D.C., is not unfamiliar territory for McFerrin. She spent three seasons with the Washington Mystics, including her final two seasons as general manager. In McFerrin's first season as GM, the Mystics made their first-ever appearancein the WNBA playoffs.
McFerrin has experienced success at every coaching stop. She spent seven years as an assistant at Ohio State University, during which time her 1993 squad won the Big Ten and finished as national runner up. McFerrin's 1992 recruiting class was ranked the top incoming freshmen class in the nation, and her six other recruiting classes were tabbed in the top-20 nationally.
In six seasons as an assistant at Central Michigan University, McFerrin helped guide the Chippewas to 95 wins and the 1985 Mid-American Conference championship. During her time at CMU, she earned a master's degree in physical education.
A native of Cassville, Mo., McFerrin was a four-year letterwinner and a starting point guard for the University of Missouri between 1979 and 1983. She led the Tigers to a 88-37 record in her four years and a Big Eight Tournament championship and subsequent NCAA Tournament appearance in her senior season. In 1982, her Tiger squad made it to the NCAA Sweet 16. McFerrin graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science in secondary education.
An accomplished public speaker, McFerrin has addressed governmental organizations, athletic administrators and business executives, as well as making numerous public appearances to raise funds and promote ticket sales. McFerrin is also an 18-year member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and has served on the USA Basketball National Team Selection Committee.