Named head coach on June 6, 2007, Michele Cherry enters her fourth season at the helm of Stony Brook University's women's basketball program in 2010-11. Cherry has been a part of the coaching staff since 2004 and brings a unique blend of professional and collegiate coaching experience to the Seawolves. Since taking over the head coaching duties, Cherry's players have succeeded in the classroom and on the court, having earned six America East All-Conference honors.
Last season, Cherry guided Stony Brook to fourth place in the America East standings, its best finish since 2007. The Seawolves also advanced to the America East semifinals for the first time since 2006. Junior Kirsten Jeter (Elmont, N.Y), a 2009 All-America East second team selection, became the 14th player in program history to record 1,000 career points and was also just the sixth player to have at least 1,000 career points and 500 rebounds.
In her first season, Cherry guided the Seawolves to an 8-23 record including wins in two of the last three games. In the final regular season game of the season, Stony Brook beat New Hampshire, 77-37 in the largest margin of victory in its nine-year Division I history. The Seawolves would follow the win over the Wildcats with an upset-victory over No. 8 Maine in the first round of the America East Tournament. Cherry coached two Seawolves to America East honors in 2007-08. Dana Ferraro earned third team all-conference as well as all-defensive honors and Kirsten Jeter was an all-rookie selection. Under Cherry's tutelage, Ferraro became the second leading rebounder in Stony Brook history, male or female, and just the third player in the history of the America East to lead the conference in rebounding at least three straight years.
Cherry took over as head coach of the women's basketball program in 2007 after three seasons as lead assistant under head coach and mentor, Maura McHugh. During the previous two years, Cherry helped guide Stony Brook to unprecedented success at the Division I level. In the 2006-2007 season, she helped lead Stony Brook to an 18-11 record including a program best 14-2 conference record. Cherry coached two of the best players in Stony Brook history, Mykeema Ford and Jessica Smith. Ford and Smith finished second and third in career scoring with 1,831 and 1,710 points, respectively. In 2005-2006, the Seawolves went 20-10 en route to a berth in the postseason WNIT, a first for the women's basketball team.
Cherry arrived at Stony Brook after spending three seasons with the Sacramento Monarchs of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) as an assistant coach under McHugh from 2001-03. During her tenure with the Monarchs, she helped guide the team to an appearance in the Western Conference Finals and coached several Olympians and all-conference players including Yolanda Griffith, Ticha Penicheiro, Kara Wolters and Ruthie Bolton-Holifield.
Before her time in Sacramento, Cherry spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Cal State-Northridge and one year with Northeast Louisiana.
Cherry also spent one season as an assistant under McHugh with the first-year franchise Long Beach StingRays of the American Basketball League (ABL) in 1997. That season, she helped lead the team to a 32-22 record and to within one game of the ABL title. Cherry coached Clarissa Davis, a recent inductee into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and one of the greatest players in the University of Texas history while with the StingRays.
Cherry began her playing career at Oregon State University in 1987-88 before transferring to Arizona State University, where she played for two seasons under McHugh from 1990-92, graduating in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in finance. She began her coaching career at her alma mater the following year, serving as an assistant coach for the 1992-93 campaign.