SWOSU names Jeff Linn new head women’s basketball coach

SWOSU Athletics
Jon Chidester

WEATHERFORD – SWOSU Athletic Director Todd Helton has announced the hiring of Jeff Zinn as the new head women’s basketball coach of Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

Zinn becomes the fifth head coach in SWOSU history, dating back to the beginning of the program in 1975.

Coach Zinn brings 28 years of successful Oklahoma high school head coaching experience to SWOSU and holds a 563-247 overall record. He spent last season at NCAA Division I Oral Roberts University as an assistant women’s coach in his first year after leaving the high school ranks.

“We are excited to welcome Coach Zinn to SWOSU and our Bulldog family,” Helton said. “Coach Zinn is the perfect fit to lead Lady Bulldog basketball to excellence on and off the court. When talking to numerous people about Coach Zinn, they all commented on his incredible integrity and character, his tireless work ethic, his knowledge of the game and how he truly cares for his players.  That’s exactly the kind of person we want as a mentor for our student-athletes here at SWOSU.

Helton said spending time with him and learning of his burning desire to be at SWOSU leading the basketball program into the future, it was clear that Coach Zinn was the coach for SWOSU.

“Throughout the process, it also became very clear to me he is a relationship-builder who inspires trust and respect with his student-athletes and those who work with and support his program,” Helton said. “He is a natural leader and proven winner who will serve as a terrific role model for all who follow our program.”

Zinn spent 10 years at Anadarko High School from 2011-2021 and finished his last three seasons with a record of 76-7. He led Anadarko to two state championships in 2019 and 2012 and made trips to the state tournament in nine of his 10 seasons at the helm of the Lady Warrior program. COVID ended the 2020 season for Zinn who saw his team compile a 29-1 record, while holding the No. 1 ranking in 4A.

“I’m extremely excited to become part of the SWOSU family,” Zinn said. “I feel very blessed to have a part in leading such a tradition rich program. I am also extremely thankful for all my past players who have helped me get to the opportunity I have in front of me today. I look forward to growing in Weatherford and adding onto the program which will continue to be about family and a winning culture.”

During his time at Anadarko, he earned many accolades for himself including NFHSA State Coach of the Year (2021), NFHSA National Sectional Coach of the Year (2020), Daily Oklahoma Coach of the Year (2019), and OGBCA State Coach of the Year (2012, 2019).

Prior to coaching at Anadarko, Zinn coached at Newkirk High School. While at Newkirk, the Tigers finished as the state runner-up in 2009 and a state quarterfinalist in 2010.

Zinn began his head coaching career at Blanchard High School where he was named Canadian Valley Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2001.

A native of Buffalo, Oklahoma, Zinn completed his bachelor’s degree in education at Northwestern in 1990 and earned a master’s degree in administration from East Central in 1998. He has four children, Averi, Libbi, Layni, and Taylor, and a granddaughter, Amay. Layni is a returning sophomore and current member of the SWOSU women’s basketball team.

An official summer meet and greet for Coach Zinn will be scheduled at a later date.

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