The University of Portland has hired Michael Meek as the next head coach for Portland’s women’s basketball program. The school announced the hiring on Wednesday.
Meek will replace Cheryl Sorenson at UP, who coached the program for the last five years but will not return to the program next year. The news was first released in an article from The Oregonian on Tuesday.
“I’m just thrilled and elated for this opportunity and the opportunity to work with these student-athletes,” Meek said. “I’m excited about working on the culture and in working individually with the kids and just getting to know them.”
Meek has had success coaching George Fox University women’s basketball team, where he went 25-4 this season and 230-35 over his nine seasons at the Division-III school. Meek took over the program in the 2010-11 season after Scott Rueck left to take the same position at Oregon State.
He led the team to the National Championship in 2012 and 2015 and has made the Division III NCAA Tournament eight times during his tenure, including six consecutive seasons. His .868 win percentage ranks in the top five amongst all women’s college basketball coaches with five plus years of experience coaching.
“My time at George Fox was phenomenal,” Meek said. “The kids that I had the privilege to coach were phenomenal so I’m going to miss that part a lot. That part of it has been really hard but I’m also really excited about the new adventure too.”
Meek also earned Division III National Coach of the Year honors in 2012 and has been named NWC coach of the year three times, including in 2019. Meek also had success at the high school level, coaching Southridge high school to five championships in six years between 2005 and 2010. He also won 2006 MaxPreps.com National Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year.
Meek says various things influenced his decision to take the job, including UP being local and said the school really impressed him.
“We’ve been really living in the Portland area, my wife and I, for right about 20 years right now so, you know, I feel like a local in this area,” Meek said. “I think this is an incredible school and incredible place academically, so to me I just feel like I’m at home and this is just an incredible opportunity.”
Meek looks forward to building relationships and getting familiar with the program.
“Right now I think it’s just about building relationships and getting to know the players and getting to know the staff here,” Meek said. “That’s where I think things start and I’m just looking forward to getting to know this group of kids and really hoping that I can serve them and really help make it the best experience for them possible.”
The University of Portland will host a press conference next Monday at 4 p.m. officially introducing Meek as the new head coach.
Kyle Garcia is the sports editor for The Beacon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.