Laurie Pirtle has always demonstrated that anything is possible with determination and hard work. In her playing days at Ohio State University, she was a walk-on who eventually became a three-year starter. She began her college coaching career at Capital University and was Ohio Athletic Conference coach of the year twice in four seasons with the Crusaders. After winning 84 percent of her games at Capital, Pirtle began a 21-year stay at the University of Cincinnati where she had anything but smooth sailing. Her teams had eight losing records in the first 10 years, but UC administrators believed in her and reaped the dividends. Beginning in 1996-97, Pirtle’s team had seven straight winning seasons, advancing to the NCAA Tournament three times and receiving four invitations to the Women’s NIT. The Bearcats won the CUSA tournament in 2002 and won their first ever NCAA Tournament game against St. Peter’s, finishing with a 27-5 record. Twice named Conference USA coach of the year, Laurie Pirtle retired after the 2006-07 season with a 393-317 record.
Watch Laurie Pirtle’s enshrinement speech: