After 18 seasons leading Valparaiso University’s women’s basketball program, Keith Freeman has announced his resignation as head coach of the Crusaders effective immediately.
Freeman guided the Brown and Gold to a 286-247 record and the school’s only two NCAA Tournament appearances since taking over the program prior to the 1994-1995 season. The school’s all-time winningest coach, he is 415-294 in 24 seasons of coaching women’s collegiate basketball.
“I’d like to thank Coach Freeman for everything he did for our women’s basketball program,” director of athletics Mark LaBarbera said. “He accomplished a great deal during his 18 years here, leading the team to Mid-Continent Conference titles as well as NCAA and WNIT appearances.”
Freeman’s squad won 18 or more games eight times and posted its only victory ever over a ranked opponent with a 71-60 win over #21/23 Purdue at the Athletics-Recreation Center in 2008. He led the Crusaders to the 1997-1998 and 2001-2002 Mid-Continent Conference regular season championships as well as conference tournament titles which culminated in NCAA Tournament appearances in both 2003 and 2004.
He transitioned Valparaiso into the Horizon League prior to the 2007-2008 season, leaving the Mid-Con as the league’s all-time winningest coach with 229 victories. Freeman was named the Mid-Con’s Coach of the Year three times and was a finalist for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association 2001-2002 Coach of the Year Award after orchestrating the nation’s biggest turnaround, taking a team that won seven games the previous season and posting a 26-7 mark along with a WNIT appearance.
He coached 24 All-Conference selections at Valpo, had 13 players named to the league’s All-Newcomer or All-Freshman Teams, while also leading a conference Player and Newcomer of the Year in the Mid-Con. In 2005, under the tutelage of Freeman, Marlous Nieuwveen became the first player in Valparaiso and Mid-Continent Conference history to be selected in the WNBA draft.
During his tenure at Valpo, Freeman led a pair of CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, including one First Team selection, and had 12 Academic All-District honorees.
Coach Freeman’s student-athletes excelled in the classroom which is a testament to his work with the players both on and off of the court. We are appreciative of his commitment to graduating his players,” added LaBarbera. “On behalf of the University, we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”