<
>

Horstmeyer led Golden Bears to 11-18 this season

BERKELEY, Calif. -- California women's basketball coach
Caren Horstmeyer was fired Wednesday after her fifth straight
losing season.

Horstmeyer went 52-91 in her five years with the Golden Bears,
including 11-18 with a 4-14 Pac-10 record this season.

"The program has clearly made progress under Caren's
leadership, particularly academically and in the community,"
athletic director Sandy Barbour said. "However, our competitive
goals have not been achieved, and it's my assessment that new
leadership is required at this time."

There was speculation about Horstmeyer's job security for more
than a month, though Horstmeyer had little to say about it when
Cal's season ended with an 81-40 loss to No. 1 Stanford in the
Pac-10 tournament. She had a year remaining on her contract.

The Bears won only three of their final 17 games. Horstmeyer
learned her fate Wednesday afternoon, then met with her players and
assistant coaches.

"It's too bad," Horstmeyer said in a phone interview Wednesday
night. "We know we have done some really great things here. I feel
we left the program in a position for immediate and future success.
We worked to develop the whole picture at Cal. I think we
definitely have done things the right way. Sometimes it takes a
little longer."

Barbour said a search for a successor would begin immediately,
but added that many potential candidates might be involved in
postseason tournaments and unavailable to interview immediately.

Horstmeyer won the Pac-10 coach of the year award in 2004 when
the Bears went 12-17. Cal had to deal with the death of one of its
players, Alisa Lewis, who died of bacterial meningitis on Jan. 19,
2004.

"You understand in this profession that decisions are sometimes
made that are out of your hands, and you move forward," Horstmeyer
said. "I appreciate my time at Cal. It was a great time in my
life."

Before coming to Cal, Horstmeyer went 221-124 in 12 seasons as
head coach at Santa Clara.