WKU dismisses Mary Taylor Cowles

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Western Kentucky fired Mary Taylor Cowles as women's basketball coach after a disappointing 9-21 season, the university announced Thursday.

Cowles had coached the Lady Toppers for 10 years and started with six straight seasons of at least 20 wins before managing just one over the past four years -- declining from 21 wins in 2009-10 to 15 in 2010-11 before this year's flop.

Western Kentucky athletics director Ross Bjork says he's looking to restore confidence, public support and energy back into the basketball program and will begin the process of finding a new coach immediately.

Cowles, a Western Kentucky graduate who played at the school from 1987-91, was a three-time Sun Belt conference coach of the year. She finishes with a 199-119 mark.