Central Michigan is one of numerous mid-major programs rising to the forefront of women’s college basketball. Over the past 12 seasons, Sue Guevara was building a program that is now in the spotlight, am especially noteworthy accomplishment since it’s for the right reasons. After 12 competitive seasons at the helm, however, Guevara is retiring.
The Chippewas do not have a need to fret over this. Central Michigan promoted Heater Oesterle to succeed Guevara as the new head coach. Oesterle has the mentality to lead the program after being Guevara’s associate head coach at CMU for the past seven seasons.
Cleaning up some things, Sue Guevara had been leaning towards retirement, but made it official last week.
“It is time,” Guevara said in a statement. “I have been leaning his way since the end of the season but wanted to separate myself from it a little bit to see if I felt the same way, and I do. I love Central Michigan so much – everything about it. When I came in 2007, this place opened its collective arms to me and gave me the support and love needed to build this program. Hopefully, I did CMU proud because I gave it everything I had over the past 12 years and loved every second of it.”
Amid her 12-season run, Guevara became the winningest coach in program history with a record of 231-156. In the Mid-American Conference, she ranks fifth all-time in wins. During her tenure at CMU, Guevara led the Chippewas to nine postseason berths (WNIT or NCAA Tournament) and only had four losing seasons. Since her first season, Guevara pushed the program to an upward trajectory in every campaign except for the 2014-15 season. Eleven of her teams had double-digit wins. Of those 11 teams, eight had 20-plus wins that season.
The Chippewas played at a high pace under Guevara, operating as one of the more efficient shooting teams in the country this past season (ninth in effective field goal percentage). With Heather Oesterle taking over as head coach, there will be no loss in continuity for Central Michigan. Right away, she will be looked upon to continue the standard that Guevara has set for the program.
“This is a great honor and I couldn’t be more excited to lead this program,” Oesterle declared in a statement. “… One of the most important things I learned from Coach Guevara is that it takes everyone working together to reach the high goals we have, and I am confident that everyone associated with this program will continue to do that.”
In the current state, Central Michigan is now out of the strong hands of Sue Guevara and is under the helm of Heather Oesterle.
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