Fortner named Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at Gannon

Gannon University women’s basketball coach Cleve Wright has announced the addition of Sophia Fortner to his coaching staff. Fortner joins Brittany Batts as assistant coaches on Wright’s staff.

Wright didn’t have to go far to find Fortner as she served the last two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Mercyhurst. The Lakers enjoyed two of their finest seasons in years during Fortner’s two years on the coaching staff. Mercyhurst posted an 18-11 record a year ago, the most wins since 2016-17, after finishing at 14-14 in 2022-23.

Among her numerous duties at Mercyhurst, Fortner was responsible for individual guard development. Under her tutelage Danielle Grim was a first team All-PSAC West selection in 2023-24 and a second team choice in 2022-23.

“We are excited to have Sophia join our staff,” exclaimed Wright. “I have known her since she was a player at Wadsworth High School in Ohio. She was a tough competitor then and that hasn’t changed. Her desire to serve those around her and her passion for teaching the game fits in with our team values of relationships, responsibility, and results.”

Fortner began her playing career at the University of Toledo in 2018-19, where she appeared in nine games as a freshman. She transferred to Ashland and played her final three seasons for the Eagles. She appeared in 48 games with eight starts from 2019-22. She was part of a 2019-20 squad that was 31-0 and won the GLIAC Championship before the NCAA Division II Tournament was canceled due to COVID. All told Ashland was 76-12 during her three seasons.

Gannon’s new assistant coach played as a prepster at Wadsworth (Ohio) High School. She earned second team All-Ohio honors and was a first team all-district, first team all-county, and first team all-conference selection. Fortner was named the Medina Gazette and The Post Player of the Year and was the Akron Touchdown Club Player of the Year.

Fortner earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Sport Management, from Ashland in 2022. She completed work on her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Mercyhurst in May 2024.

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