Oklahoma president claims Coale was offered head job at Texas

Updated: June 29, 2007, 6:55 PM ET
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- Add a new wrinkle to the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry.

After Oklahoma's school president said that the Sooners' women's basketball coach, Sherri Coale, turned down the Texas job, Texas women's athletic director Chris Plonsky said Gail Goestenkors -- who got the job in April -- was the only coach interviewed.

"We're not sure what circumstances led to this inadvertent misunderstanding, I did not speak to Sherri Coale about our coaching position," Plonsky said in a statement issued late Thursday afternoon.

Goestenkors, who left Duke for Texas, had been widely considered the Longhorns' first choice to replace Jody Conradt when she retired in March.

But Oklahoma president David Boren raised a few eyebrows in Austin on Wednesday after Oklahoma regents agreed to give Coale a raise. He said Coale had turned down an offer from Texas.

"They offered quite a bit more money than she was making, and she turned them down," Boren said after Coale got a raise to $800,000 a year.

"When people do things like that voluntarily all the time for you, you shouldn't just take them for granted, because she could have gone to Texas for more money than even this contract. She more than deserves what we're doing and we're just trying to send a signal of how much we appreciate her," Boren said.

Boren issued a statement Friday saying his earlier comments "were clearly misinterpreted. My point was she could have numerous opportunities if she would allow herself to be considered, but she is very loyal to OU. I did not ever assert that Sherri Coale was offered any other job. ... I noted as only an example that the new Texas coach was offered a much higher salary than Sherri Coale now receives."

Plonsky said Goestenkors, who ultimately got a contract worth at least $1 million annually, was the only coach the Longhorns interviewed.

"The fact is, Gail Goestenkors is the only individual who was interviewed, who considered and who ultimately accepted our offer to become head coach of the University of Texas women's basketball team. We are proud she is our coach," Plonsky said.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press