Waves women’s basketball has new head coach 

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Katie Faulkner, seen here during her time as an assistant coach at Oregon State (2016-21), has been named the new women's basketball head coach at Pepperdine. She spent the last three seasons on the women's basketball staff at Washington. Photo from Oregon State Athletics.

Katie Faulkner is fifth all-time in Montana scoring, 10th in rebounding, and fifth in blocked shots

Pepperdine has hired a new hoops coach for the second time this month.

Coaching veteran Katie Faulkner was named the head coach of the Waves women’s basketball team on April 12. 

Faulkner, most recently the associate head coach of the University of Washington women’s basketball team, said it has been a privilege to get to know Pepperdine leadership — President Jim Gash, Senior Vice President Tim Perrin, and Director of Athletics Tanner Gardner — and see the support for Waves women’s hoops.

“This combined with the driving mission of the university makes it an incredible place for young women to compete, grow, and discover what’s possible for their lives,” Faulkner said in press release. “I consider myself extremely blessed to lead this program into the future.” 

Faulkner replaces Kelsey Keizer, who was the interim coach for the 2023-24 season. Keizer, previously an assistant coach, stepped into the role after Tim Hays resigned from the position last August. Faulkner got the Pepperdine coaching gig nine days after Ed Shilling was named the head coach of Waves men’s basketball team. 

Faulkner has 10 years of coaching experience and is a former college basketball standout. 

She was a leader on Washington’s bench from the 2021-22 season to this season. Faulkner helped Washington advance to the WNIT Final Four in 2023, which was the program’s first postseason qualification in six years. That year’s Washington team had a 19-15 record, its best record in six seasons. This year, Washington qualified for the inaugural Women’s Basketball Invitational Tournament.

Faulkner was an assistant coach at Oregon State from 2016-21. Oregon State qualified for the NCAA tournament in four consecutive seasons while Faulkner was there. The team made a run to the Elite Eight in 2018. Oregon State won the Pac-12 championship in 2017 and had five All-Pac-12 first team players. Faulkner was named to WBCA’s 30 under 30 coaches list in 2018. 

Faulkner helped Washington sign consecutive top-20 recruiting classes. At Oregon State, she aided the team in signing McDonald’s All-Americans in three consecutive classes, five top 20 recruits, and four top 10 recruits.

She was a graduate assistant for Wisconsin in the 2015-16 season. Faulkner first stepped on the sideline as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs the season before. She helped the team compile a 26-7 record and reach the Division II Sweet Sixteen. 

Faulkner, from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was the Gatorade Player of the Year as a high school sophomore in 2007. As a player at the University of Montana, she was a four-time all-Big Sky Conference selection and the 2013 Big Sky Player of the Year as a senior. Faulkner led Montana to two NCAA Tournaments. She graduated in 2013. 

She is fifth all-time in Montana scoring, 10th in rebounding, and fifth in blocked shots. Faulkner played professional hoops in Luxembourg for one year after college. 

Gardner said Pepperdine is thrilled to have Faulkner as the women’s team’s head coach.

“Katie is a proven winner as a player and coach, and she is a skilled leader who will develop and empower the young women of Pepperdine women’s basketball to be champions on and off the court,” he said. 

Washington head coach Tina Langley said Pepperdine made the right choice in hiring Faulkner. 

“She is a rising star in this profession, whose experience and knowledge of the college basketball landscape will make an immediate impact,” she said. “I am confident that together, Tanner and Katie will form an incredible partnership that will help build Pepperdine’s program and continue to propel it forward.” 

Faulkner’s college coach, Robin Selvig, praised his former player. 

“She is fiercely competitive, a strong leader and will be a perfect role model for the young women of Pepperdine Basketball. Congratulations Katie!,” Selvig said. 

The Waves finished last season with a 5-25 record including a 1-15 record in the West Coast Conference.