College Basketball

Purdue’s coach Versyp retires; Beech Grove native Gearlds takes over team

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — Amid an harassment investigation, Sharon Versyp has stepped down as Purdue University women’s basketball coach after 15 seasons in the job.

The University’s Office of Institutional Equity by May had began an investigation to determine if the coach with a 418-257 record violated the school’s anti-harassment policy, according to media reports. The office’s report on the harassment was obtained by the Lafayette Journal & Courier. The office has never released a determination from the report.

A news release from the Purdue athletics department about Versyp’s retirement did not mention the harassment investigation. A Mishawaka native, Versyp is 55.

Her career as the “Boilermakers’ all-time winningest coach” included four Big Ten tourney titles and nine NCAA tourney appearances, the release said. Versyp played for Purdue’s team from 1984-85 to 1987-88. She won the 1988 Purdue Athlete of the Year Award.

Versyp was the head coach at Indiana University from 2005–2006.

She coached teams at Lawrence North High School from 1989-1993 and Benton Central Junior-Senior High School from 1993-1996.

Beech Grove native Katie Gearlds, 36, will take over as the women’s basketball team’s coach. She’s been the team’s associate head coach since March. Gearlds is also the former head coach of the Marian University Knights women’s basketball team, winning back-to-back NAIA National Championships in 2016 and 2017. She played in the WNBA for the Seattle Storm from 2007-2009 and at Purdue from 2003-2007. At Beech Grove High School, she compiled 2,521 points and was named Miss Basketball in 2003.

The Boilermakers’ 30-game 2021-22 season includes 16 games at Mackey Arena. Play begins with an exhibition game Nov. 7 vs. Findlay in West Lafayette. Purdue’s season opens Nov. 10 at Western Kentucky. The first home game will be Nov. 14 vs. Western Michigan.


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