For Coach LeAnn Freeland, basketball is not only her job, but her lifelong passion. The head of the NSU women’s basketball program is in her second year as coach and has already made an impression on her team and its players.
Freeland became head coach in 2011, replacing former interim coach Ann Walker.
At the announcement of her hiring, Athletic Director Michael Mominey said, “Her passion to be successful was evident from the very first time I spoke with her, and her drive to be the best was confirmed by everyone she had met with on campus throughout the interview process.
Coach Freeland has experienced the highest levels of success at the Division II level as a student-athlete, as an assistant coach and as a head coach. That alone speaks volumes in terms of where we expect the NSU women’s basketball program to be.”
In her first season, Freeland led the Sharks to a 17-11 overall record and help advance the team to the Sunshine State Conference semifinals for the first time since the 2008-2009 season.
Meixandra Porter, senior business administration major, hopes that Freeland can build upon last year’s success.
Freeland’s success did not end last year. This year she has led the Sharks to a 15-4 overall record and a 7-2 conference record. The Sharks are currently tied for first in the Sunshine State Conference and are ranked number 23 in the nation.
Porter said, “Coach is a very focused about the goals the team sets out to achieve and we can always count on her help and support for achieving those goals.”
Freeland began her basketball career as a player at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville. She racked up an impressive resume of accomplishments, including setting six school records in women’s basketball and helping lead the team to the 1997 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship game.
According to Porter, Freeland has brought her experiences as a player into her coaching.
“She brings her passion for the game to every practice and game, and we just feed off her intensity,” Porter said. “She can be a hard coach to play for sometimes, but her work ethic is something we all admire in her.”
In her 13 years of coaching, Freeland has strived to make her players the best they can be.
During her first season at NSU, Freeland said, “Discipline and consistency are my strengths, and what I will bring to the program upon my arrival. Our players and staff will work together to establish Nova Southeastern as a power in NCAA Division II.”
With two seasons under her belt, she has kept that promise.