Sharon Baldwin-Tener has known how to win as both a collegiate player and collegiate coach. She was named GSU's head coach in April of 2010.
In her first season, GSU continued to improve as the season went along, defeating the team in the CAA Championship that had beaten them by 24 points in the first CAA of her tenure.The team had the first three-game win streak in their short CAA history during a stretch in February, while also defeating two CAA teams who had been ranked in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll,
In her first year at GSU, she had an All-CAA player (Chan Harris), an All-CAA rookie (Kendra Long) and the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Cody Paulk).
She picked up her 200th career win as a head coach on Dec. 29 vs. Mississippi Valley State (91-65) and guided GSU to the 500th all-time win in school history on Jan. 9 in a win over Hofstra (84-70).
On defense in 2010-11, the Panthers led the CAA in blocked shots, were third in field goal defense and fourth in steals and rebound margin in the 12-team league.
BALDWIN-TENER AT A GLANCE
• Finished 23-11 in 2009-10 with a WNIT bid.
Defeated Drexel in 1st round 23 wins, second most ECU history. Set school record for scoring
• Was 18-13 in 2009 and earned an NCAA
Tournament bid in 2007 (19-14) as well as C-USA Championship in ‘07
• 8-Year Record of 126-115 at ECU
• 207-161 Career (12 years as head coach)
• A-Sun Conference Coach of the Year in her only season at Mercer (‘02) and beat Georgia State both times
• Naismith National Coach of the Year at Life University (NAIA) in Atlanta with 31-3 team than was ranked #1. Had 53-14 record in her two
seasons at Life University as she was the first coach in the program’s history
• Naismith National Assistant Coach of the Year at University of Georgia (1997) and coached seven years on UGA staff with two Final Four teams and Five NCAA bids on Coach Landers’ staff.
• Team captain of 1990 UGA team after
playing first two college years at Kennesaw State
• Georgia High School Class 4A Player of the Year (1985) at Wills High in Smyrna, Ga.
• Earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s
Degrees from Univ. of Georgia
• Husband, Matt, Son, Luke (6) and Daughter, Samantha (4)
In eight years, she turned the East Carolina women’s basketball program around, winning 126 games, while earning postseason bids to the NCAA and WNIT tournaments. The Lady Pirates of ECU won the C-USA Tournament in 2007.
Atlanta is a homecoming for Baldwin-Tener as she played her prep ball in Smyrna and her college ball at both Kennesaw State and the University of Georgia. She was an assistant coach at Georgia and a head coach at Life University in Marietta.
In 2009-10, her 23-11 ECU team was No. 37 in the NCAA in scoring, while ranking No. 12 in three-point FG percentage, No. 14 in overall FG percentage, No. 19 in assists and No. 42 in rebound margin among the 345 Division I colleges and universities.
Those eight years at ECU followed her 2001-02 season as the Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year honor in her only season at Mercer University in Macon.
She first gained notice as the NAIA National Coach of the Year at Life University, where she began that program with a final No. 7 ranking in its first year and produced a team ranked No.1 in the national polls in her second season (2001).
In 12 years as a head coach, Baldwin-Tener, 43, has a 207-161 overall record. Her 126 wins at ECU are a school record.
Her assistant coaching career was highlighted by being named the Naismith National Assistant Coach of the Year (1997) while she was in her seventh and final year at the University of Georgia under head coach Andy Landers. With her recruiting help, the Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Championship game in 1996 with a final No. 2 ranking, as well as a No. 4 ranking in 1995 and a No. 6 ranking in 1997. Georgia’s 1993 recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in the country and the 1997 class was No. 2. Her recruits included All-Americans Rachel Powell, Kedra Holland-Corn, as well as the WNBA-bound twins, Coco and Kelly Miller (now with the Atlanta Dream).
As a collegiate player, Baldwin played her first two seasons near her home at Kennesaw State as an all-conference player with 831 points in two years.
As a student, she transferred to the University of Georgia for her final two seasons under Coach Landers and was a starting guard and team captain her senior campaign on the 25-5 Bulldogs team that finished No. 7, with five wins over Top 20 teams, including a nationally televised win over No. 3 Tennessee. Baldwin led the team in free throw percentage (79%). As a junior, her team was 23-7 and No. 10 in the final AP poll.
Baldwin-Tener arrived at East Carolina University in 2002 with solid credentials and the reputation of a program-builder. When she arrived at ECU, they were coming off a 6-21 season in 2001-02. In her eight years with the Lady Pirate program, she exceeded expectations. Given the task of resurrecting a program that had 18 winning seasons in its first 23 years from 1969-1992, she quickly left her mark and molded ECU into a championship contender.
What Baldwin-Tener did since she accepted the ECU position was clear not only in the community, but also around the country. The squad’s RPI rating improved nearly 150 spots and attendance quadrupled. In 2009-10, her team finished No. 83 among the 345 Division I colleges in the RPI ranking system used by the NCAA.
In 2008-09, East Carolina led Conference USA in attendance, drawing an average of 1,602 fans per contest and upped that with 1,935 in 2009-10.
Baldwin-Tener’s building process really showed in 2007 as East Carolina accomplished another first – their first-ever Conference USA Tournament title. For the first time since 1982, the Lady Pirates were represented in the NCAA Tournament field of 64. After sending home SMU in the C-USA quarterfinals and edging UAB in the semifinals, the Lady Pirates beat Rice to win the championship game.
Prior to her appointment at East Carolina, Baldwin-Tener served one season as head coach at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. She took over a program that won only six games a season prior and led the Bears to a 16-13 record and berth in the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Tournament. The 10-game improvement represented one of the biggest turnarounds in Division I that season.
Baldwin-Tener’s aforementioned penchant for being a program-maker rang true in the three years she spent at Life University. She literally built the program from the ground as the NAIA affiliated University did not sponsor women’s basketball until her arrival. In two seasons of competition, the Lady Eagles compiled a stellar record of 53-14. In the program’s first season (1999-2000), Baldwin-Tener led Life to a 22-11 mark as the Lady Eagles advanced to the NAIA Sweet Sixteen. In year two, Life’s Lady Eagles put together a remarkable 31-3 record, including a 19-game winning streak, and advanced to the Elite Eight of the national tournament. Life ended the season as the No. 1 team in the final NAIA national poll. Baldwin-Tener added more hardware to her resume that season as she was named the WBCA NAIA National Coach-of-the-Year for the first time and earned her second-straight Naismith Georgia NAIA Division III Coach-of-the-Year honor.
Baldwin-Tener enjoyed a successful playing career at both the high school and collegiate levels. At Wills High School (merged with Campbell High) in Smyrna, Ga., she averaged 21 points per contest as a senior and was named the 1985 Georgia Class 4A State Player-of-the-Year. The top male player at Wills when she was there was Brian Oliver, who went on to Georgia Tech on their 1990 Final Four team. In Smyrna, Baldwin was in classes at Griffin Middle School with actress Julia Roberts. Out of high school, Baldwin-Tener signed with Kennesaw State University and played there for two seasons before transferring to Georgia. At Kennesaw, she was an all-district and all-conference selection, averaging 18 points per game as a freshman before upping that mark to 20 as a sophomore.
Baldwin-Tener earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Georgia in 1991 and completed her master’s of education in 1997, also at Georgia.
She and her husband, Matt, have two children: Luke (6) and Samantha (4).
BALDWIN TENER’S WINNING WAYS
As Head Coach
• Graduated every player that finished their eligibility at East Carolina
• WNIT Bid, 2010 (won 1st round)
• 23 wins, 2nd most school history, 2010
• 90 wins in past 5 seasons
• NCAA Bid, 2007 (ECU) - 1st in 25 years at ECU
• C-USA Tourney Champion, 2007
• Went from 6 wins to 16 wins in only year at Mercer University
• No. 1 in NAIA poll (31-3) in 2001
• NAIA Elite Eight, 2001
• NAIA Sweet Sixteen, 2000 and 2001
As Assistant Coach
• NCAA Final Four, 1996 and 1997
• NCAA Elite Eight, 1996, 1997 and 1998
• NCAA Bids, 5 times in 7 year
WHAT OTHERS SAY:
“Sharon is a proven winner. She won as a player, she was a great asset on our staff and was influential in some of our finest moments. Sharon took over a non‑existent Life University program and took it to national prominence in a year and she has done incredible rebuilding jobs at both Mercer and East Carolina. Georgia State has hired a very capable coach in Sharon Baldwin‑Tener.”
Andy Landers, UGA Hall of Fame coach
“Georgia State got a rising superstar among women’s basketball coaches. Sharon is absolutely a great coach. She is just special. And, as good of a coach that she is, she is even better as a person. She is a disciplinarian, but her players love her. She was one of the best hires I ever made in more than 20 years as an Athletics Director. My only problem with her was that she could stay just one year at Mercer.”
Bobby Pope, her former A.D. at Mercer
“I am so happy for Sharon. She is such a great coach and person. Sharon had a huge influence on Kelly and I choosing to attend UGA. She has great knowledge of the game and has the ability to bring out the best in her players. Georgia State is very lucky to have her.”
Coco Miller, Atlanta Dream WNBA player
“We are thrilled to welcome Sharon Baldwin-Tener to the Georgia State family as our women’s basketball coach. She is a proven winner as a head coach and a well-respected national recruiter. Her personal tenacious effort and winning attitude permeates into her team and the results reflect that desire. Sharon’s preparation finds opponents weaknesses and her teams do everything to capitalize on those opportunities. Everywhere she has been, she has turned teams into consistent winners and it hasn’t been by accident. We know she is the right coach for Georgia State and we are excited about what she brings to our program.”
Cheryl L. Levick, Georgia State Athletics Director
As an Assistant Coach
SEASON SCHOOL RECORD PCT. POSTSEASON
1991-92 Georgia (Asst.) 19-11 .633 SEC Tournament Finals
1992-93 Georgia (Asst.) 21-13 .612 SEC Tournament Finals (NCAA)
1993-94 Georgia (Asst.) 17-11 .607
1994-95 Georgia (Asst.) 28-5 .848 NCAA Final Four, No. 4 ranked
1995-96 Georgia (Asst.) 28-5 .848 SEC Champion/NCAA Title Game, No. 2 ranked 1996-97 Georgia (Asst.) 25-6 .807 SEC Champion/NCAA Elite Eight, No. 6 ranked
1997-98 Georgia (Asst.) 17-11 .607 NCAA Appearance
As a Head Coach
1998-99 Life - Established New Program
1999-2000 Life 22-11 .667 NAIA Sweet Sixteen
2000-01 Life 31-3 .912 NAIA Elite Eight, No. 1 ranked in NAIA
2001-02 Mercer 16-13 .552 Atlantic Sun Tournament Semifinals
2002-03 East Carolina 12-16 .429 C-USA Tournament
2003-04 East Carolina 14-14 .500 C-USA Tournament
2004-05 East Carolina 10-18 .357 C-USA Tournament
2005-06 East Carolina 17-12 .586 C-USA Tournament
2006-07 East Carolina 19-14 .576 C-USA Tournament Champion (NCAA)
2007-08 East Carolina 13-17 .433 C-USA Tournament
2008-09 East Carolina 18-13 .581 C-USA Tournament
2009-10 East Carolina 23-11 .677 C-USA Tournament (WNIT, Second Round)
2010-11 Georgia State 12-19 .387 CAA Tournament
2011-12 Georgia State 8-22 .267 CAA Tournament
2012-13 Georgia State 13-16 .448
GSU Totals (3) 33-57 .367
Career Totals 228-199 .534