Coquese Washington

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Coquese Washington
Coach Coquese Washington.jpg
Sport(s) Basketball
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Penn State
Record 181–135 (.573)
Biographical details
Born (1971-01-17) January 17, 1971 (age 46)
Flint, Michigan
Playing career
1989–1993 Notre Dame
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1999–2007 Notre Dame (asst.)
2007–present Penn State
Accomplishments and honors
BCA Female Coach of the Year (2011)
Big Ten Coach of the Year (2011)

Coquese Makebra Washington (born January 17, 1971)[1] is a former collegiate and professional basketball player who currently serves as the head coach of Penn State's women's basketball team, the Lady Lions. Washington holds a law degree and was the first president of the WNBA Players Association, holding that position from 1999 to 2001. She played her high school basketball at Flint Central High School and her collegiate basketball at the University of Notre Dame.

High school[edit]

Washington attended high school at Flint Central High School in Flint, Michigan. She was the starting point guard for all four years of her high school basketball career, the first player at Central to earn a starting position in all four years. Washington earned all-state honors in back to back years. In her senior year she scored 373 points to set a school scoring record for a single season, And went on to score a total of 1,123 points in her career. She led the team to their first ever Saginaw Valley Conference and district championships.[2][3][4] In addition to sports excellence, she also had musical talents, playing seven different musical instruments while at Central.[5]

University of Notre Dame[edit]

Washington played for Notre Dame's Fighting Irish women's basketball team from 1989 to 1993. Afterwards, she attended Notre Dame Law School from 1994 to 1997, earning her J.D.

Professional playing career[edit]

After completing her athletic eligibility with the Irish in 1993, she began a professional career by joining the American Basketball League 1996-98 (ABL). She began her pro career in 1997–98 as the starting point guard with the ABL's Portland Power.

Women's National Basketball Association Career[edit]

  • 1998–99 – New York Liberty – Washington averaged 4.1 minutes, 0.6 points, and 0.8 rebounds per game.
  • 2000 – Houston Comets: Washington received playing time in 25 games, and throughout the season, she averaged 1.7 points and an assist per game.
  • 2001 – Houston Comets: Washington started all 32 games, as a point guard. Throughout the season, she averaged 5.3 points, 3.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.16 steals per game. On August 3, 2001, playing against Orlando and in her best game of the season, she posted ten points, nine rebounds, and six assists.

Coaching career[edit]

Notre Dame[edit]

Washington began her coaching career in 1999, when she returned to her alma mater, University of Notre Dame, and worked as an assistant coach under Head Coach Muffet McGraw. She was part of the coaching staff for the team that won the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship in 2001, defeating Purdue.

In August 2005, Washington was promoted to an Associate Head Coach, which includes the responsibility of coordinating Notre Dame's recruiting efforts on promising young players.

Penn State[edit]

On April 23, 2007, she was named the fifth coach in Penn State women's basketball history, following Rene Portland's resignation.

Washington increased her number of Big Ten wins in each of her first six years, starting with 4 conference wins in 2007–2008 and growing to 14 and her second consecutive Big Ten regular season title in the 2012–2013 campaign. Washington's first post season appearance at Penn State was a first round loss in the 2010 WNIT Tournament. Since 2011, Washington has led her teams to three consecutive NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship appearances where her teams have advanced past the first round in every appearance. Her most successful season was the 2011–2012 season when Washington's Lady Lions advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to perennial powerhouse UConn.

In 2013, Coquese Washington was named to the 18-member "Presidential Search and Screen Committee" at Penn State to help determine the University's next President.[6]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 2007–08 WBCA "Rising Star" Award Winner
  • 2009 Greater Flint Hall of Fame Inductee
  • 2010–11 Black Coaches & Administrators Female Coach of the Year
  • 2011–12 Big Ten Coach of the Year
  • 2011–12 WBCA Region 6 Coach of the Year
  • 2011–12 WBCA National Coach of the Year Finalist
  • 2012–13 Big Ten Coach of the Year
  • 2012–13 WBCA Region 6 Coach of the Year
  • 2012–13 WBCA National Coach of the Year Finalist
  • 2012–13 Black Coaches & Administrators Female Coach of the Year
  • 2013–14 Big Ten Coach of the Year

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Penn State (Big Ten Conference) (2007–present)
2007–08 Penn State 13–18 4–14 10th
2008–09 Penn State 11–18 6–12 T–7th
2009–10 Penn State 17–14 8–10 T–6th WNIT 1st Round
2010–11 Penn State 25–10 11–5 2nd NCAA 2nd Round
2011–12 Penn State 26–7 13–3 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2012–13 Penn State 26–6 14–2 1st NCAA 2nd Round
2013–14 Penn State 24–8 13–3 T–1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2014–15 Penn State 6–24 3–15 T-13th
2015–16 Penn State 12–19 6–12 11th
2016–17 Penn State 21-11 9-7 T-6th WNIT Third Round
Penn State: 181–135 (.573) 87–83 (.512)
Total: 181–135 (.573)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


Washington lives in Port Matilda, Pa with her husband, Raynell Brown, and their son, Quenton Brown, who was born in 2005. She gave birth to a daughter, Rhaiyna Kamille Brown, on July 23, 2009.[2]


External links[edit]