As the winningest coach in the University of Toledo Women’s Basketball history, Coach Tricia Cullop has transformed the program into a nationally-recognized powerhouse. Her 2022 WBCA Carol Eckman Integrity in Coaching Award is a testament to her success in creating space for authenticity and community on and off the court throughout her 20-year coaching career.
Under her leadership, Toledo has hung winning banners in nine of fourteen seasons, including a postseason WNIT championship, a MAC Championship, three MAC regular-season championships, and four MAC West Division Championships.
But her greatest accomplishment is measured by those who consistently gather at Savage Arena to support her Rockets. As fans show up early to connect with players pre-game, enthusiastically cheer and encourage the team throughout the game, and make personal connections beyond the post-game chatter, Coach Cullop takes pride in what she builds.
Driven by her “Invest, Improve, and Inspire” motto, Coach Cullop develops people and winning records. She proves that the team trusts one another to achieve by leading with empathy and whole-person growth.
Coach Cullop has always been a trailblazer. As a player, Tricia Cullop was a record-setting All-American inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame who eventually led Purdue University to their first-ever Big Ten championship. And as a coach, she is on a mission to extend her impact.
Coach Cullop is committed to serving those around her. Coach Cullop nurtures environments and relationships that support human development and care, from her players and their families to staff and the more extensive athletic department to the greater Toledo and formerly Evansville community. She believes creating space for fearless authenticity enables genuine connections that betters women’s sports and the world.
Cullop received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Purdue University. Recruited as a High School All-American, she was part of the first-ever Purdue women’s basketball Big Ten championship team and contributed to three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances (1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92). As team captain and a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection, she was named the Purdue Mortar Board Female Student-Athlete of the Year in 1993 and was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.
After serving as an assistant women’s basketball coach at Radford, Long Beach State, and Xavier, she took over as head coach of Evansville in 2000. With an eight-season winning record, conference championship, and WNIT appearance, Cullop was named the Missouri Valley Coach of the Year in 2008.
At the University of Toledo, she continued her career’s winning record for the next 14 seasons, from 2008 through 2022. As regular season conference champions in 2011, 2013, and 2022, her teams have played in the WNIT eight times and were WNIT tournament champions in 2011. As the Mid-Atlantic Conference Tournament winner in 2016-2017, she was awarded her first NCAA Tournament bid as head coach.
She was named the MAC Coach of the Year in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2022 while serving as the President of the Coaches Association (WBCA) during the 2019-2022 and 2020-2021 membership years and continues to be an active member today.
Speaking Topics -
Building Environments that Support Whole-Person Development
Driving Change in Traditional Structures and Environments
Leading with Empathy & Kindness
Unlocking Authenticity in Team Members to Make the Team Work
The Importance of Not Just Building Community, But Fostering It