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Katie Faulkner Named Pepperdine Women’s Basketball Head Coach

Coach Faulkner brings a winning track record including NCAA Tournament appearances and player recruitment and development.

Katie Faulkner headshot

Pepperdine University has named Katie Faulkner head coach of the women’s basketball team. Faulkner, who has served as the assistant coach of the University of Washington women's basketball program since 2021, will assume her role effective immediately.

“Katie Faulkner has an exceptional track record of recruiting and developing student-athletes and building winning teams at the highest level of collegiate sports,” said Pepperdine president Jim Gash (JD '93). “As a person of deep faith, Coach Faulkner embodies the values of our university and a commitment to excellence that will lead our women’s basketball team to compete and win against the top teams in the West Coast Conference and around the country.”

During her first two years at Washington, Faulkner helped coach the Huskies to a 12-game improvement and their first postseason appearance in six years. The Huskies also saw five players receive honorable mention honors from the Pac-12. During her last two years at Washington, Faulkner also served as recruiting coordinator, helping bring two nationally ranked recruiting classes to Washington. 

Prior to coaching the Huskies, Faulkner served as an assistant coach for Oregon State and directly contributed to an impressive 118-37 five-year stretch for the Beavers. She helped the team achieve four NCAA tournament appearances—including an NCAA tournament berth during her first season—three trips to the Sweet Sixteen, a spot in the Elite Eight for the second time in program history, and the 2017 Pac-12 regular season title. Faulkner also served as a graduate assistant coach at Wisconsin and spent a season as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, contributing to one of Colorado’s most successful in program history and making a run to the Sweet Sixteen in the Division II NCAA Tournament.

“It has been a privilege to get to know president Jim Gash, Tim Perrin, and athletic director Tanner Gardner and experience the enthusiasm and support for women’s basketball at Pepperdine.” Faulkner said. “This, combined with the driving mission of the University, make it an incredible place for young women to compete, grow, and discover what’s possible for their life. I consider myself extremely blessed to lead this program into the future.” 

Faulkner has an impressive track record of developing post players, recruiting elite prospects, and helping players flourish into WNBA-level talents. While on the recruiting front at Oregon State, Faulkner recruited a McDonald’s All-American in three consecutive classes for the Beavers (2018, 2019, and 2020). As one of the top post players in Montana women’s basketball history, Faulkner recruited and coached the position adeptly throughout her career. In 2021, Oregon State players led the Pac-12 in rebounding, and the team ranked second in 2021 with 5.3 blocks per game. Faulkner also coached center Marie Gulrich, a Lisa Leslie Award semi-finalist and All-Pac-12 First Team selection in back-to-back seasons. Gulrich was also selected as the Pac-12 Media Defensive Player of the Year and became a first-round WNBA draft pick in 2018. 

Considered one of the best players in the program’s history, Faulkner was a center at the University of Montana from 2009 to 2013. Faulkner was the Big Sky Conference Player of the Year as a senior and finished fifth all-time in scoring, 10th all-time in rebounding, and fifth all-time in blocked shots. She also led her team in scoring all four years and was given All-Big Sky honors every year. While at Montana, she appeared in two NCAA tournaments and was awarded four All-Academic Big Sky honors (2009–2013), one All-Region Select Team honor (2012–13), and one WBCA All-American Honorable Mention (2012–13). A Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, native, Faulkner was a three-time Idaho Gatorade Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year and led her highschool, Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy to a Class 5A state title in 2007. Faulkner graduated from the University of Montana in 2013 with a bachelor’s in exercise science and continued her playing career with a professional season in Europe.

Learn more about Pepperdine women’s basketball on the Pepperdine University Athletics website.