Oklahoma Women’s Basketball Staff Update

New Oklahoma head women’s basketball Jennie Baranczyk finalized her coaching staff Friday, an accomplished group that includes associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Amy Wright as well as assistant coaches Michael Neal and Chantel Osahor.

Wright comes to OU after 10 seasons as an assistant at Texas A&M where she worked primarily with the Aggies’ wings, oversaw in-bound plays and served as recruiting coordinator.

Wright joins the OU staff fresh off an historic year with the Aggies, who captured the program’s first-ever SEC regular season title, rose to No. 2 in the AP poll for the highest ranking in program history and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.

In 17 years of coaching, Wright has been a part of 15 postseason teams (11 NCAA tournaments) and has won five conference championships.

Wright helped the Aggies to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, four trips to the Sweet 16 and to the 2014 Elite Eight. Texas A&M also won the 2013 SEC Tournament with her on staff.

“Amy is energetic and relationship-driven with a great work ethic,” said Baranczyk. “She’s recruited elite players, knows this region and recruits nationally. Amy has the ability to develop and work with players to get them to the next level, and has also learned and worked with some of the elite defensive minds in the game.”

Neal joins the Sooners after seven transformative seasons as head coach of the Norman High School girls’ team. He is no stranger to Lloyd Noble Center, having played for the OU men’s basketball team during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 campaigns when he averaged 11.0 points and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 37.5% from 3-point range (136 makes).

Neal led the Lady Tigers to a 43-1 overall record over the last two seasons and to Class 6A state titles in 2018-19 (23-7 record) and this past season (19-0). He was named The Oklahoman’s 2021 Super 5 Coach of the Year. 

Norman High was the No. 1 seed in the 2020 state tournament before the event was canceled due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Neal was named the Norman Transcript’s 2020 Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Tigers to a 24-1 record, the Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference championship and a 22-game winning streak heading into the state tournament.

Neal coached several NHS players to all-district and all-state honors, and the 2021 Norman roster featured four players who either signed with or committed to NCAA Division I schools. One of those pupils was Kelbie Washington, a four-star guard who signed with the Sooners in November and was honored as The Oklahoman’s Super 5 Player of the Year this past season.

“Michael is a proven winner as a player and coach. He knows this state and that’s where we want to start,” Baranczyk said. “He’s a great teacher and understands all aspects of developing young people – from on court development to strength and conditioning to mentoring. He’s positive, hungry and well-loved by the OU family.”
Osahor comes to OU after two years as an assistant coach at Arkansas, and this past season helped lead the Razorbacks to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2015. The Hogs finished the regular season ranked 15th in the AP Poll to mark their best finish since 1995.

Osahor previously served on Baranczyk’s staff at Drake as a graduate assistant during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, helping the Bulldogs to a 53-15 overall record, a 35-1 Missouri Valley Conference mark and two NCAA tournament appearances.

As a player at Washington, Osahor starred on three NCAA Tournament teams and helped the Huskies to the 2016 Final Four and the 2017 Sweet 16. The 2017 WBCA All-American is one of just two players in Washington history to record at least 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. As a senior, she led the nation with her 15.3 rebounds per game and 30 double-doubles.

“Chantel is authentic and loyal, and willing to do what it takes to compete. She has in incredible basketball IQ and a great presence to teach the game. She has an eye for finding potential in young people and motivating them,” said Baranczyk. “Chantel has developed great relationships with coaches and student-athletes while keeping a pulse on regional and national recruiting to do so at a high level.”
Baranczyk was named the ninth head coach in University of Oklahoma women’s basketball history on April 10. She previously spent nine seasons as the head coach at Drake, where she amassed a 192-96 (.667) record and led the Bulldogs to six consecutive 20-win seasons (2014-15 through 2019-20) and to three NCAA tournament berths (2017-19).