Hopkins-Chery resigns at UC Merced; Takes over at Cal State Monterey Bay

After seven years as the head coach of the University of California, Merced women’s basketball program, Sarah Hopkins-Chery has been named the head women’s basketball coach at Cal State Monterey Bay.

Hopkins-Chery led the Bobcats to three California Pacific Conference Tournament Championships and 103 wins in her time at the helm. This past year, Hopkins-Chery guided the Bobcats to an 18-win season, including 10-0 in Cal Pac play, and a Cal Pac Championship.

The Bobcats were 103-66 (.609 winning %) all-time and 57-17 (.770%) in the Cal Pac under Hopkins-Chery, who started in the navy and gold just prior to the 2015-16 season and was named the Cal Pac Coach of the Year in her first go-around.

Hopkins-Chery also led the Bobcats to a regular season title, three NAIA National Tournaments, and a No. 22 national ranking. The Bobcats, who never missed a conference tournament, were consistently amongst the best in the Cal Pac and the NAIA in multiple offensive and defensive statistical categories. This past year, Hopkins-Chery’s team ranked fifth in the nation having allowed just 52.5 points per game. The Bobcats ranked first in the country giving up just 47 PPG in league action.

Hopkins-Chery’s student athletes had great success athletically and academically under her direction. She coached 17 All-Cal Pac selections, including the 4X Cal Pac Defensive Player of the Year and the conference’s all-time leading scorer Mia Belvin. Belvin was also a 3X NAIA Third Team All-American. Courtney Danna was a 2X Honorable Mention All-American under Hopkins-Chery. Mikayla Mabie became the program’s latest Honorable Mention All-American at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.

Academically, women’s basketball has been named a Scholar Team four times since 2015-16 and has achieved a 3.0 team GPA or higher in eight straight semesters dating back to the fall of 2018. Hopkins-Chery’s team had a phenomenal 3.4 GPA in the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021. Recently, women’s basketball’s Rainah Smith was named the UC Merced Female Intercollegiate Scholar Athlete of the Year after maintaining the highest GPA out of all of UC Merced’s graduating student athletes.

A national search for UC Merced’s next head women’s basketball coach will begin immediately.


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