Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Source: DeMoss to resign as UK women's coach
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky women's basketball coach Mickie
DeMoss abruptly resigned Wednesday after four seasons, saying she
wants to step away from the game after 30 years.
DeMoss said she has been coaching since she was 21 and has never
really had a break.
"I need some time to myself right now," DeMoss said at a
morning news conference. "I don't want to classify it as burnout.
I think it's just a time -- a transition time in my life."
DeMoss met with players early Wednesday, said Susan Lax, who
handles media relations for the team. Lax said DeMoss' departure
was initiated by the coach, not the school.
DeMoss said athletic director Mitch Barnhart asked her to
rethink her decision -- which she did -- but reached the conclusion
she wants time away from the game.
"I appreciate the effort and energy Mickie put into the growth
of our women's basketball program over the last four years,"
Barnhart said in a statement. "I also appreciate the 30 years of
service she gave to women's collegiate basketball."
DeMoss, a former assistant coach to Pat Summitt at Tennessee,
agreed to a new contract last year that would have kept her with
the school through 2011 and would have paid her about $350,000 a
"I would never rule out a return to coaching again," DeMoss
said in a statement issued before the start of her news conference.
"But for me, right now was the best time to step away."
The Wildcats finished 20-14 (6-8 Southeastern Conference) this
year, making the National Invitation Tournament. Last year, DeMoss
led the Wildcats to their first NCAA tournament appearance in seven
years and a breakout season that included a victory over the
top-ranked Lady Vols.
"I think we're all very surprised by the decision, but everyone
deserves to be happy, none more than coach DeMoss," said sophomore
guard Carly Ormerod. "This program is where it is today because of
DeMoss' departure means Kentucky will have a new coach for both
the men's and women's programs. Billy Gillispie was hired last week
as the men's coach after Tubby Smith left for Minnesota.
DeMoss was an assistant at Tennessee for 18 years. She also was
head coach at Florida for four seasons, from 1979-83.
Her career record as a head coach is 116-124. She was 71-56 at