Itoro Umoh Coleman completed her third season at the helm of the Clemson Women’s Basketball program in 2012-13. She compiled a career record of 25-63 in three seasons as Clemson's head coach, and a 10-38 record against ACC teams during that span.
She led Clemson to an historic win at No. 21 North Carolina, the first signature win as a head coach, during the 2011-12 season. It was Clemson’s first win against a ranked team on the road since the 2003-04 season, and the Lady Tigers held the Heels to their fewest points in school history at home in the 52-47 win.
Early on, Coleman’s program has revolved around youth development. Five freshmen in 2011-12 combined to play more than 3,000 minutes, and accounted for nearly half of the team’s rebounding and scoring.
Defensively, Coleman’s team took 23 charges a season ago, and set a school record for shot-blocking with 168, which ranked fourth-best in the nation. She parlayed the early success of her young players into a 2012 signing class that ranks in the top-20 nationally, including five-star prospect Jonquel Jones.
She did all of this while expecting her fourth child, Harold, who joined the family just weeks after the ACC Tournament.
The Tigers went 10-20 in her first season after playing a schedule that included 16 games against NCAA Tournament teams. However, Coleman was able to show glimpses of what the future offer for the program on the tactical end. On the recruiting trail, her 2011 incoming class was ranked 30th in the nation by ESPN Hoopgurlz.
The 2010-11 season was Coleman’s first as a head coach, and got off to an interesting start as she missed the first four games after giving birth to her third child, Jasmine, just before the season. Karleen Thompson filled in, going 3-1 in her four games, before Coleman returned to take the reigns against Furman. Coleman was credited with the games she missed, including her first career win against Charleston Southern in the season opener.
Coleman is in her third stint at Clemson University. After spending three seasons as an assistant coach at Penn State, Coleman has returned to her alma mater to lead the women’s basketball program. Coleman, a 2000 graduate of Clemson who was named to the ACC’s 50-Year Anniversary Team in 2002, was a player at Clemson from 1995-99, and served as an assistant coach from 2002-07, a span of five seasons.
Coleman was introduced as the Head Coach in a spirited press conference in the McFadden team room on March 29, 2010. Due to her ties with the program and school, Coleman has as solid foundation with the Clemson community, and a commitment to making Clemson successful.
“I am very passionate about re-establishing a winning tradition for the women’s basketball program. This is something I take very personally, because I am a product of this university,” said Coleman. “I want every Lady Tiger to have as great as experience as I did when I was here. I am committed to being the best, and I plan to work extremely hard to bring out the best in my players. I want to bring that same type of consistency and direction to the women’s basketball program. There is no staff that is going to out work my staff. There is no team that is going to outwork my team.”
Coleman has 11 years of experience as an assistant at the Division I level. She served as a student assistant coach at Liberty in 1999-00 and was an assistant coach at Butler from 2000 to 2002. From there, she worked for five seasons as an assistant under Jim Davis and Cristy McKinney at Clemson. She has spent the past three seasons at Penn State, who went 17-14 this season and made the WNIT this year.
Coleman has posted a strong reputation for recruiting and player development. While at Clemson, she helped Chrissy Floyd and Lakeia Stokes to Kodak All-America honors.
At Penn State, she helped Brianne O’Rourke to All-Big Ten honors in 2008-09. This past season, she coached guards Tyra Grant and Alex Bentley to All-Big Ten honors and Bentley to All-Freshman team accolades. Grant was second in the Big Ten and 20th nationally in scoring at 18.8 points per game.
Recruiting is also a strength, as she was instrumental in bringing All-ACC performer Lele Hardy to Clemson four years ago. Hardy went on to finish her career fifth in school history in scoring, third in rebounds, and in the top-25 in Division-I history with 398 steals.
As recruiting coordinator, she oversaw the efforts of bringing in the 20th-ranked class nationally to Penn State for 2010, which included Parade All-American and top-50 player Maggie Lucas. Her last two classes were both ranked in the top-20 by ESPN HOOPGurlz.
Coleman also pursued a professional basketball career and became the first Lady Tiger named to a WNBA active roster in 2000-01.
As a player at Clemson, she led the Lady Tigers to a pair of ACC Tournament championships as the team’s point guard. Clemson won the conference title her freshman year, 1995-96, and her senior year, 1998-99. She was the tournament’s MVP as a senior, in addition to a first-team All-ACC selection.
That same season, she was an honorable mention AP All-American. She was selected to the ACC’s 50-Year Anniversary team in 2002, one of just four Clemson players honored by the conference. Coleman still ranks 11th in Clemson history in scoring (1,409 points), fourth in games played (127), second in free throws made, third in assists, and first in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.73).
Clemson had a record of 93-33 in her four years as a player, the most wins in Clemson history for a senior class. Her senior class won the only two ACC Championships in school history, played in four NCAA Tournaments, including one Sweet 16 season, and all four of her teams were ranked in the final top-25, including a final #10 AP rank in 1999. She was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame as a player in 2008.
Coleman, the former Itoro Umoh, is married to Harold Coleman, and the two have four children, Jada (8), and Jordyn (3), Jasmine (2) and Harold III (1).