HEAD COACH SHANNON SWORD
Sword completed her fifth season at Ursuline in 2016-17 and was named the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the second straight season. The Arrows finished the season 23-8 and won their second straight G-MAC Regular Season Championship and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In the last two seasons, Ursuline has gone 48-12 and had winning streaks of 12 and 13 games (both school records) and have posted a 25-3 record in the G-MAC including winning 22 consecutive conference games.
The Arrows earned the highest seed (#4) in school history in their second-ever NCAA Tournament berth. Under Sword, the Arrows had the G-MAC Player of the Year (Laney Lewis) for the second straight year along with two First Team All G-MAC selections (Lewis and Erica Huber) and Natalie Koenig selected All-Conference Second Team.
Ursuline posted a 25-4 record in 2015-16 and won both the regular season and tournament championships in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference which earned the Arrows a berth into their first-ever NCAA tournament. For her work during the 15-16 season, Sword was awarded the G-MAC Coach of the Year, the first-ever for an Ursuline basketball coach.
The Arrows also were awarded the G-MAC Player of the Year (Laney Lewis) and Freshman of the Year (Brigan Wymer). It was the third straight season a freshman had won the award under Sword's leadership. Ursuline also had three players named to the All-G-MAC First Team and one placed on Second Team.
During the 15-16 season, Ursuline shattered numerous school and conference records including scoring a record 128 points against Bluefield State. The Arrows finished the season as the fourth highest scoring team in the country at 83.5 points per game and also finished third in winning margin (+21.5), behind only the two teams that played for the National Championship.
Her players were also once again strong in the classroom, finishing the 15-16 academic year with a 3.5 GPA.
Sword, the fourth head coach in UC basketball history, turned around the program in her second season. After going 4-22 and winless in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference in 2012-13, the Arrows finished the 2013-14 season at 14-14 overall and 8-8 in conference play. It was just the third time in the 13-year history of the program that a team had a winning percentage of .500 or better and first since 2008-09.
The 14 wins in 2013-14 were one win shy of tying the school record for most in a season, set in 2006-07. It becomes more impressive when you take into account that three freshmen (Jenny Grigsby, Erica Huber and Tajanee Wells) started all 28 games in 2013-14 and junior Emma Ricketts, a transfer in her first year with the program, made 25 starts.
Sword pushed her team to get out and run and the 2013-14 team averaged 76.5 points per game, up from 53 points per game the year before.
She stresses academics, evidenced by the fact the 2012-13 team finished in the top-15 nationally in GPA, earning the Arrows a spot on the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NCAA Division II Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll.
In her coaching career, she has served as an assistant coach at all three levels of the NCAA (Division I, II, and III), following a successful playing career at the Division I level.
Sword came to Ursuline following a stint as an assistant basketball coach at Ashland University, a program that made a run to the NCAA Division II National Championship game in 2011-12.
During her two years as an assistant coach under Sue Ramsey at Ashland, Sword helped guide the team to a GLIAC South Championship and runner-up finish in the GLIAC in 2010-11. In 2011-12, the team had a record year, finishing 33-2, winning all 33 games in a row, capturing the GLIAC regular season and tournament championships, and finishing No. 2 in the nation after falling in the NCAA Tournament final. She helped lay the foundation as Ashland captured the NCAA Division II title in 2012-13.
Sword utilizes her experiences from on and off the court. As a Division I student-athlete for four years at Cleveland State University (2000-2004), she was a four-time letter winner and a four-time Horizon League All-Academic Team selection. She joined the 1,000 point club at Cleveland State and holds the school record for three-point field goal and free throw percentage in a single season.
For her efforts, Sword was named team MVP, team captain, an All-Horizon League first team selection and ranked second in the conference in scoring. She was also a CoSIDA Academic All-District first team honoree after her senior season.
Following her graduation from CSU, Sword took a position as the head junior varsity coach/assistant varsity coach at Miamisburg High School – her hometown – and also served as head coach of the Dayton Lady Hoopstars AAU team (under-15) from 2004-2005. She led the AAU team to the Ohio Division II State Championship and helped guide the Miamisburg varsity team to a 20-0 start on the way to an eventual 23-1 record. After claiming the MML and sectional championships, the team finished fourth in the final AP State Poll.
In 2005-06, she began her collegiate coaching career as assistant coach of the Manhattanville College basketball team for one season. Sword then served as a graduate assistant coach at Ashland from 2006-2008, where she played a large role in the operations of the program, serving as the team academic advisor.
Under her supervision, the team earned a 3.4 team grade point average, which ranked 11th in the Division II WBCA Academic Top 25. She assisted in on-floor coaching, training, workouts, recruiting and scouting. Her specialty has been the development of the post players.
Following her assistantship at Ashland, Sword took a position as an assistant coach at Youngstown State University. At YSU, she took on a larger role within the program, including practice planning, game strategy, scouting, film, recruiting, serving as a liaison for NCAA eligibility, alumni relations, fundraising, travel and camps/clinics.
Sword holds a degree from Cleveland State University in sport management (Magna Cum Laude in 2004) and a Master’s Degree from Ashland University in education - sport education/administration in 2008 (4.0 GPA in 2008).