Jerry Finkbeiner is in his fifth season as the head women’s basketball coach at Utah State.
Finkbeiner (pronounced Fink-by-ner) was named the ninth head coach in USU program history on April 26, 2012. He is the second male coach in Utah State history, joining Bob Corbin, who was the Aggies’ coach from 1984-86. Finkbeiner is only the second USU coach since the reinstatement of the program in 2003 when Raegan Pebley took over.
Overall, Finkbeiner has a 529-312 (.629) record in 27 years as a collegiate head coach, including his time at Utah State, Oral Roberts (1996-2013) and Southern Nazarene (1991-96). He also ranks 24th in the nation among active coaches with his 529 career wins.
Finkbeiner coached the 2015-16 squad to a 14-17 record, including an 8-10 Mountain West ledger. The Aggies finished seventh in the league, advancing to the second round of the conference tournament. Guard Funda Nakkasoglu earned first-team all-Mountain West honors, while guard Rachel Brewster was named to the all-Freshman team.
Off the court, seven Aggies earned academic all-Mountain West honors with another six being named Mountain West Scholar-Athletes.
In 2014-15, Finkbeiner coached the Aggies to an 8-23 record, going 5-13 in Mountain West play. That year, Finkbeiner led guard Funda Nakkasoglu to the Mountain West Freshman of the Year award. Additionally, Nakkasoglu earned honorable mention all-conference accolades. At the conclusion of the season, senior forward Franny Vaaulu became the second of Finkbeiner’s players to sign a professional contract, playing for the Wolfpack in Wolfenbüttel, Germany.
In the classroom, four players earned academic all-Mountain West honors, while three were named Mountain West Scholar-Athletes.
During the summer of 2015, Finkbeiner took the Aggie women on an eight-day trip to the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. On the trip, the team played against local club and university teams, hosted coaches and children’s clinics and toured the sights.
In the 2013-14 season, Finkbeiner led the Aggies to a 15-16 overall record, while going 8-10 in league play in their first year in the Mountain West. The team advanced to the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Championships, falling to Colorado State.
That year, Finkbeiner coached guard Jennifer Schlott to several accolades and records. Schlott finished the year third in the nation in scoring with 26.2 points per game. She was named the Mountain West Player of the Year and became USU’s first-ever AP All-American, earning honorable mention accolades. She became the all-time leading scorer at Utah State, ending her career with 1,556 points. Schlott was invited to a WNBA training camp with the Indiana Fever, before signing a professional contract to play for Tapiolan Honka in Finland.
Off the court, the 2013-14 Aggies also succeeded academically. Six student-athletes received academic all-Mountain West honors, while two were named Mountain West Scholar-Athletes.
In Finkbeiner’s debut season in 2012-13, the Aggies achieved an 18-14 record. USU finished second in the Western Athletic Conference standings for the second-straight season with a 14-4 mark. Under the direction of Finkbeiner, Utah State advanced to the postseason for the third-straight season, as the Aggies played in the Women’s Basketball Invitational. USU finished the season second in the nation in free throw percentage with a school and WAC record 80.1 percent. Three players were honored by the WAC as Devyn Christensen earned first-team honors, while Jennifer Schlott and Jenna Johnson earned second and third-team honors, respectively.
The Aggies also found success in the classroom under Finkbeiner as five players earned academic all-WAC honors.
Finkbeiner came to Utah State from Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Okla., where he spent 16 years as head coach. During his tenure at ORU, the Golden Eagles averaged 17 wins per season and advanced to postseason play eight times with five trips to the NCAA Tournament and three appearances in the WNIT.
As the head coach at Oral Roberts, Finkbeiner led the Golden Eagles to seven Summit League regular season and tournament titles and six 20-win seasons. At ORU, Finkbeiner coached five All-Americans, eight conference players of the year, five conference newcomers of the year and 26 all-conference selections. He was named conference coach of the year twice during his ORU tenure.
In his six years prior to ORU, Finkbeiner led Southern Nazarene to three-straight NAIA national titles and a combined 99-4 record from 1994 to 1996. Finkbeiner posted a 186-20 record in six seasons at SNU. During his career at Southern Nazarene, Finkbeiner coached nine NAIA All-Americans and a two-time NAIA Player of the Year, while five of his players went on to play professional basketball overseas.
During his tenure at Southern Nazarene, Finkbeiner’s coaching achievements did not go unnoticed, as he was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year in 1994, 1995 and 1996. He was also named as the College Sports Magazine and Converse National Coach of the Year in 1995. Finkbeiner was named the NAIA District 9 Coach of the Year in 1993 and the Sooner Athletic Conference Coach of the Year from 1992 to 1996.
Finkbeiner, a native of Southern California, attended Southern Nazarene in Oklahoma City, Okla. from 1975-80, where he was a four-year letterwinner. In that time, he was selected as a Christian Collegiate All-American in 1978. Finkbeiner graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in physical education and completed his master’s degree in physical education at Northwest Missouri State University. Along with coaching at SNU, Finkbeiner also worked as a professor in the kinesiology and sports management department.
Finkbeiner and his wife, Reva, have five children and two daughters-in-law, Isaac (Angela), Ben (Alycia), Corban (Nathan), Micha (Tommy) and Bethany. His son, Ben, is an assistant coach for the Aggies.