UCLA's Olivier resigns as coach after 15 seasons

LOS ANGELES -- Kathy Olivier resigned as UCLA women's basketball coach after 15 seasons on Tuesday.

She will continue to work for the athletic department on undetermined special projects. A national search for her replacement will begin immediately.

"This was one of the hardest decisions of my life," Olivier said in a statement. "I have been offered the opportunity to take the next step in my career by moving into administration and I think the timing is right. The new coach will be able to build with almost the entire team returning."

Senior associate athletic director Petrina Long said she and Olivier had several discussions about the future of the program.

"She still wants to be a part of UCLA athletics, but she also realized it was time to turn the women's basketball program over to new leadership," Long said. "Fifteen years is a long time, and I think she is looking forward to new challenges."

Olivier had a 232-208 record in 15 seasons. Two years ago, the Bruins won the Pac-10 tournament. In 1999, UCLA shared the conference title and advanced to the final eight of the NCAA tournament.

This season, the Bruins finished 16-15 and tied for fourth in the league at 10-8. They lost to Stanford (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) 78-45 in the Pac-10 tournament semifinals Saturday after upsetting the Cardinal at home during the regular season.