CRANFORD – Cheryl Bell returns for her 7th season as the Head Coach of the Union County College Women’s Basketball Program. Over her six prior seasons, she compiled a 97-51 record with the Lady Owls. During her tenure, the team has captured four Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) titles, three National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XIX titles, and advanced to the NJCAA District playoffs (the initial round of the National Tournament) three years in a row.
In 2009, the Lady Owls finished 27-0 in the regular season. This marked the first time in the college’s history that the women’s basketball program went undefeated.
In 2008, the Lady Owls finished 24-8 over-all, 14-2 in the Region and 8-2 in the Conference. Three players earned All-Region 2nd Team honors and All-Conference honors as well.
Prior to Bell’s recent return to Union County College, she was an assistant coach at Caldwell College for three years. During that time she helped lead the Lady Cougars to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Division II, National Tournament in 2002 and the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Conference Title in 2003. Before Caldwell, Bell served as the assistant coach for Union County College, her alma mater, from 1994-1999. As an assistant at Union, Bell scouted, recruited and developed guard and point players. She helped develop the lifting and conditioning program and was instrumental in defensive game tactics.
As a player and co-captain of the 1989 and 1990 teams at Union County College, Coach Bell was the 2nd leader in steals with three steals a game and averaged 12 points per game. She was also nominated to the 1st team All-Garden State Athletic Conference and 2nd Team All Region XIX in 1990. Coach Bell prides herself on “defense” so much, that during her two years at Union the team was ranked fourth in the nation for defense. Coach Bell transferred and continued her defensive philosophy at William Paterson University where she held the record of 97 steals in one single season. This record for most steals in one season was held for 10 years.
Bell is a graduate of William Paterson University where she earned a degree in psychology. She also has her M.A. in physical education with a concentration in coaching and sports administration from Montclair State University. Along with her coaching duties, Bell is a health and physical education teacher at Science High School in Newark.
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