Bunky Harkleroad completed his fourth season at Sacramento State in 2016-17 with another record-breaking year leading the Hornet women's basketball program.
In four years under Harkleroad the Hornets have twice broken the NCAA Div. I single season records for 3-pointers made and attempted. The team has led NCAA Div. I in 3-pointers made and attempted in each of his four seasons and led in steals per game and offensive rebounds in two seasons while ranking in the top-10 in scoring, turnover margin, turnovers forced per game.
Harkleroad's Sacramento State teams have broken Big Sky season records for points, field goals, scoring average, steals, 3-pointers, and assists and have established new conference game records in points (132), steals (30), and made 3-pointers (25).
The 2016-17 team qualified for the Big Sky Tournament for the fifth consecutive season as the No. 8 seed. The Hornets had quality wins in the regular season over non-conference foes such as Hofstra and Cal Poly and swept two Big Sky games against Montana, winning in Missoula for the first time in program history. In the first round of the Big Sky Tournament the Hornets pushed Weber State to overtime but took a narrow 98-97 loss.
Junior Maranne Johnson was an all-Big Sky third team selection after breaking the program record with 93 made 3-pointers and leading the country in made threes per game early in the season. Johnson scored a career-high 37 points in a game against Stanislaus State and ended the year 13th nationally in made threes per game while point guard Justyce Dawson as 11th in NCAA Div. I with a 2.77 assist to turnover ratio.
In 2015-16 the team twice broke the NCAA Div. I single game record with 25 made 3-pointers and shattered the 3-point attempts record with 80 against Cal. The team broke the program record for single-season scoring average and ranked second in the nation behind only national champion UConn scoring 87.5 points per game.
The 2015-16 team won six of its last eight games of the regular season and beat Southern Utah in the first round of the Big Sky Tournament. The team won a Big Sky Tournament game for the second consecutive year and had a winning record in conference play for the second straight year and just the fourth time in program history. Senior Adella Randle-El led the Big Sky and ranked third in NCAA Div. I averaging 3.8 steals per game while also leading the team in points, rebounds, and assists and earned All-Big Sky First Team honors.
In 2014-15 Harkleroad led Sacramento State to the postseason for the first time in the Div. I era (1991-pres.). The Hornets qualified for the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) and defeated Pacific and Eastern Washington to reach the round-of-16 before being narrowly defeated by Saint Mary's.
The squad tied for second in the regular season Big Sky standings and was the No. 2 seed for the Big Sky Tournament, the highest tournament seed in program history. The Hornets advanced to the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament before an overtime loss. Senior Fantasia Hilliard, the program's all-time leader in assists and steals, was an all-Big Sky First Team selection while sophomore Gretchen Harrigan was named the Top Reserve in the conference and was honorable mention.
In his first season in Sacramento Harkleroad was one of five finalists for the 2014 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award, which honors a Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division I head coach who has led his or her team to a successful season during his or her first year at the helm.
Harkleroad came to Sacramento State less than a month before the start of the 2013-14 season after he was hired to replace former head coach Jamie Craighead. He had served as the head coach at Glenville State College (WV) for four years after nine seasons as the head coach at Berea College (KY), his alma mater.
Harkleroad led the 2013-14 Hornets to a school record 11-1 start with a record nine-game winning streak, using his up-tempo system to lead the team to wins over quality programs such as Oregon and Saint Mary's. Sacramento State qualified for the Big Sky Tournament for the third consecutive season and finished the year at 18-12, just one win shy of the program record.
During the 2013-14 season Harkleroad's squad broke the NCAA single-season record for three-pointers made and attempted while also breaking school records in points, scoring average, and fewest turnovers. The team led the nation in steals per game and 3-pointers per game while also ranking highly in points per game and turnover margin. Junior point guard Fantasia Hilliard earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Honors after breaking the program career and single-season assist records.
Harkleroad runs a high-tempo system that continues the playing style employed by Craighead. His non-traditional style produces fast-paced play aimed at overwhelming an opponent both physically and mentally while providing fans with an entertaining product.
Glenville State, which is located in Glenville, W.Va., led NCAA Div. II in scoring in each of Harkleroad's four seasons and averaged 95.3 points per game in 2012-13. Glenville's record improved every season during Harkleroad's tenure while the squad broke virtually every offensive record at the college, compiling a 91-30 overall record with a 47-3 mark in home games. He was a finalist for NCAA Div. II Coach of the Year after his final season at Glenville State.
Glenville State made two NCAA Tournament appearances in Harkleroad's four seasons at the school while winning a West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) tournament title and a regular season title. The Pioneers went 27-4 in 2012-13 while outscoring their opposition by an average of 18.1 points per game with 13 games scoring more than 100 points. The team also broke the Div. II NCAA Tournament record with 21 three-pointers made in a game vs. Shaw that season.
In addition to leading NCAA Div. II in scoring Glenville State also led in three-pointers made per game in three of Harkleroad's four seasons at the school and led Div. II in turnover margin in 2012. He was named the 2013 WVIAC Coach of the Year and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region Coach of the Year before becoming a finalist for national Coach of the Year honors.
Harkleroad came to Glenville State after spending nine seasons as the head coach at Berea College, an NAIA Div. II school located in Berea, Ky. His overall record at Berea was 167-93 while he led the team to its first 20-win season in school history and totaled five 20-win seasons. Berea won three consecutive Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) tournament titles and made three straight NAIA National Tournament appearances between 2005 and 2007.
Berea College also broke 33 NAIA records and 24 team records during Harkleroad's tenure. His players earned two NAIA honorable mention All-America honors and one WBCA/Kodak honorable mention All-America award.
Harkleroad attended Berea College where he played for NAIA Hall of Fame coach Roland Wierwille and graduated in 1993 with a bachelor of arts degree in history. He earned a teaching certificate and taught public school in Berea for 12 years before earning a master's degree in sports administration from the United States Sports Academy in 2004.
Harkleroad and his wife Shan have three children, Tory (21), Tahni (20), and Ty (17).