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Women’s History Month: Former Michigan, CMU Women’s Basketball’s Sue Guevara

Sue Guevara made quite a name for herself in the world of women’s college basketball.

The nation came to know her as “Coach G” as she led the Michigan Wolverines to five postseason appearances including three NCAA Tournament berths, and being named Big 10 Coach of the Year twice. At Central Michigan, she took the Chippewas to the NCAA tournament three times, won two MAC championships, and became MAC Coach of the Year three times.

But even with all of the accolades, Coach G’s career wasn’t always a walk in the park.


“I was the interim coach at Michigan And so I left the associate head coaching position at Michigan State where I just got a raise, to go to the University of Michigan to be the head coach, and I was only guaranteed, you know, July to March. And I, you know, do you sure you want to do that? you know, I might not have a job, you know, and obviously, I did have a job. And you know what it was? It was a dream job that lasted seven years, and I got let go, you know? So my dream job didn’t turn out to be quite a dream. But for a variety of reasons. And I, I’ve always believed Kennedy, failure does bring other opportunities,” Guevara said.

Guevara sat out a year, but sure enough, those other opportunities came knocking.

She got a call from former Olympic coach Nell Fortner, who had just taken a job at Auburn.

“She goes, we’re going to Auburn. I go, coach, where’s Auburn? Auburn, is in Alabama. Okay, we’re gonna the SEC is like, okay. So, you know, it’s like, I spent three years there, and it was absolutely awesome,” she said of her time in Alabama.


But Coach G had been bitten by the head coaching bug, and the itch never went away.

“When Central opened up. You know, I thought, you know, do you want to get back in the saddle? Are you sure you want to get back at it? And I knew I did,” Coach G recalled.

She continued her career at Central Michigan for the next twelve years.

“Central Michigan will always, always hold a special place in my heart, it makes me tear up because I was, I was just so happy there. I was so happy. And you know, and I’m still happy, you know, that I got to retire when I wanted to retire,” the former Chippewa HC said.


“You’ve coached hundreds of women, what would you say your coaching philosophy is?”

“It’s about the process. And it’s about what those kids are doing when they leave. How do you want to be judged? And I wanted to be judged by the successes of the women that I coached. And to make sure that those women, that I toughen them up with tough love, but that they were going to go out in their communities, wherever they were, whatever they were going to do, and make their mark because they were confident.”

Coach G shares her recipe for success throughout her trips to the NCAA tournament.

“It’s who you surround yourself with. I think first of all, Kennedy, you have to have good players. Do we get the five star athlete? Not so much?. We don’t. So you have to have the right kids and the right staff to develop them. You do,” she said.


But now those she’s coached are running the world as wives, mothers, coaches, pro players, referees, and even real estate agents. Coach G spends her time keeping up with her former players and dishing out advice, and enjoying some well-deserved fun, too.

“I pretty much do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. And the best thing is Kennedy, I’m undefeated. In four years, I haven’t lost a basketball game.”

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