Faulkner named Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Pepperdine

Pepperdine University has selected Katie Faulkner to serve as the 10th head women’s basketball coach in Pepperdine program history. Faulkner, who has a decade of college basketball coaching experience at top programs, comes to Malibu after serving as the Associate Head Coach at the University of Washington since the 2021-22 season.

Katie Faulkner has an exceptional track record of recruiting and developing student-athletes and building winning teams at the highest level of collegiate sports,” Pepperdine President Jim Gash said. “As a person of deep faith, Coach Faulkner embodies the values of our university and a commitment to excellence that will lead our women’s basketball team to compete and win against the top teams in the West Coast Conference and around the country.”

Throughout her 10-year coaching career at the University of Washington, Oregon State, Wisconsin and the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (Division II), Faulkner has made eight postseason appearances — including six NCAA Tournaments at the Division I and II levels. She has coached four WNBA draft picks, was the head recruiter for seven ESPN top-50 recruits and recruited two McDonald’s All-Americans.

“It has been a privilege to get to know President Jim Gash, Tim Perrin, and athletic director Tanner Gardner and experience the enthusiasm and support for women’s basketball at Pepperdine,” Faulkner said. “This, combined with the driving mission of the university makes it an incredible place for young women to compete, grow, and discover what’s possible for their lives. I consider myself extremely blessed to lead this program into the future.”

Over the past three seasons at the University of Washington, Faulkner helped the Huskies go to the 2023 WNIT and the 2024 WBIT. The Huskies’ run to the 2023 WNIT Final Four was the program’s first postseason berth in six years; that season’s 19-15 record also was the program’s winningest season in six years. At Washington, five of her players received Pac-12 Conference honorable mention honors and Faulkner helped sign back-to-back top-20 recruiting classes.

Prior to her stint at Washington, Faulkner served as an assistant coach at Oregon State from 2016-21, where she helped the Beavers amass a 118-37 record in five seasons. During that time, the Beavers made the NCAA Tournament in four consecutive years, chief among them was an Elite Eight appearance in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Competing in one of the toughest conferences in women’s basketball, she helped the Beavers win a 2017 Pac-12 Conference title, developed five First Team All-Pac-12 players, and helped bring the program’s first McDonald’s All-American to Corvallis. At Oregon State, Faulkner made the WBCA’s 30 under 30 coaches list in 2018.

Faulkner got her Division I coaching start at the University of Wisconsin, where she served as a graduate assistant during the 2015-16 season. Before that season, she began her college basketball career as an assistant at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, where she helped the Mountain Lions reach the Division II Sweet Sixteen and finish with a 26-7 record.

As a recruiter, Faulkner has had success by not only helping the Huskies sign back-to-back top-20 recruiting classes, but also signing a plethora of top-100 players at Oregon State — including McDonald’s All-Americans in three-straight classes, four top-10 recruits and five top-20 recruits. Her recruiting work stemmed back to her days at Wisconsin, where she was in charge of the program’s recruiting database.

As a player, Faulkner (neé Baker) enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at the University of Montana, where she was a four-time Big Sky Conference selection and the 2013 Big Sky Player of the Year as a senior. During her career, she helped the Lady Griz reach two NCAA Tournaments, plus she earned one All-Region Select Team honor and earned WBCA All-American Honorable Mention honors as a senior. In 2013, she graduated with a degree in health and human performance and left Missoula ranked fifth all-time in scoring, tenth in rebounding and fifth in blocked shots. In the classroom, she was an all-academic Big Sky selection four times. After college, she played professionally for one year overseas in Luxembourg before beginning her coaching career.

“We are thrilled to welcome Katie Faulkner as our head women’s basketball coach,” incoming Director of Athletics Tanner Gardner said. “Katie is a proven winner as a player and coach, and she is a skilled leader who will develop and empower the young women of Pepperdine Women’s Basketball to be champions on and off the court.”

Born in Hamilton, Montana before moving to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Faulkner starred at Coeur d’Alene Charter School and Lake City High School, where she was the Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2007. She is married to Derek Faulkner. They have two children, Baker and Laney.


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