Beech Grove’s Katie Gearlds is with her parents and relatives after coaching one of her many home games while at Marian University.
By Al Stilley
Katie Gearlds will be inducted into the Marian University Wall of Fame Tuesday, April 18 at the university’s arena and convocation center.
Gearlds, who coached the Marian Knights women’s basketball team to back-to-back NAIA national championships, will be honored during the 14th annual Clayton Family Circle of Honor Induction Dinner and Wall of Fame Ceremony on campus. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with program and dinner at 6:30 p.m.
The Beech Grove native spent eight seasons taking Marian University to unparalleled success as its head coach, winning the titles in 2016 and 2017. She stands as the winningest coach in MU history with a record of 228 wins and only 50 losses.
A three-time NAIA National Coach of the Year, Gearlds guided the Knights to six straight Crossroads League regular-season titles, four league tournament championships and seven appearances in the NAIA tournament.
With only five All-Americans in program history before her arrival, Gearlds mentored 12 All-America honorees, including 2021 WBCA NAIA National Player of the Year Imani Guy, as well as 28 All-Crossroads League selections.
Her teams averaged more than 70 points per game in all eight campaigns at Marian and over 75 points in four seasons. Defensively, the Knights kept opponents to 60 points per game or less in six of her eight years.
At the conclusion of the 2020-21 campaign, Gearlds was named to the coaching staff for the 2021 USA Basketball U16 Junior National Team.
She became the women’s basketball coach at Purdue University in 2021 where she guided the Boilers to a 17-15 record and the WNIT post-season tourney. The Boilers are 18-9 overall and 9-8 in Big 10 games.
Her basketball roots go back to Beech Grove where she led the Hornets to the Class 3A IHSAA state championship in 2003 and was named Indiana Miss Basketball. She played at Purdue where she was an All-American.
Gearlds’ pro career was with the Seattle Storm and overseas with four different teams.
The Irsay family also will be honored as the Clayton Family Circle of Honor inductee for their Kicking the Stigma mental health program and has committed more than $17 million toward increasing awareness and expanding treatment and research. Their program aligns with Marian University’s Franciscan values.
Individual tickets are $250 each.