Coaching News: Spring/Summer 2019

Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph, in her 16th year at the school, has been placed on leave over a “pending personnel matter.” Assistant coach Mark Simons will serve as acting head coach.


UPDATE (2/28): Joseph’s attorney claims that she was suspended by the athletic department as retaliation for “raising concerns about gender equity issues.” The attorney released this statement today:

“Head Women’s Basketball Coach MaChelle Joseph was suspended yesterday without explanation from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Given that the school has failed to provide any explanation to Coach Joseph, her agent, or her lawyers, despite repeated requests, we are left to conclude that this is the latest, and most serious, action in a string of ongoing retaliation that she has suffered for raising concerns about gender equity issues in the Athletic Department. Coach Joseph, who has served at Georgia Tech for over 15 years, and is the winningest coach in the history of Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball, can conceive of no action by her that would warrant such a drastic and punitive measure. Coach Joseph intends to take whatever steps are necessary to defend her reputation and return to coaching her team, which is currently poised to earn a much coveted berth in the NCAA tournament.”

Also, grad assistant Antonia Peresson was fired by Georgia Tech “for not following instructions to the staff to not have private conversations with team members” after Joseph was put on leave.

“They told us that we could not have private conversations with student-athletes, and I did,” Peresson told the AJC Sunday. “I got in touch with a student-athlete because I was one of their teammates and I have that bond. They were like my little sisters. I have that bond. I was just worried about them because of this whole thing.”

Jeff Dow won’t return next season as Louisiana–Monroe head coach. “Dow informed ULM officials and his team on Wednesday afternoon that he will not seek a contract extension when his current deal expires on March 31.” He told the Monroe News Star about some of the factors that went into his decision.

Dow said the current landscape of women’s college basketball in the Sun Belt also contributed to his decision.

Dow is the Sun Belt’s lowest-paid women’s basketball coach at just over $90,000 per year and his $140,000 salary pool for assistant coaches is also at the bottom of the conference.

He said ULM is the only school in the Sun Belt not to offer cost of attendance to student-athletes.

“Five years ago, cost of attendance was not a roadblock for recruiting at ULM and now it is…we’ve seen facility upgrades at multiple schools while others are in the process of building new arenas and practice facilities in the next few years,” Dow said.

Dow said multiple attempts to secure raises for his assistant coaches were denied, and his requests to make staff changes were also denied. Assistant head coach E.J. Lee Smith, who ULM retained from the previous staff, is the only member of Dow’s inaugural staff still with the program.

“Needless to say, it was frustrating to not enjoy the same autonomy in selecting a staff that other coaches at ULM and across the Sun Belt have,” Dow said.


Florida A&M head coach LeDawn Gibson and assistant coach LaTasha Shipman-Ganus have been fired. Assistant coach Kevin Lynum has been named interim head coach.

A spokesperson at Florida A&M confirmed to WTXL that head coach LeDawn Gibson has been let go after the team fell to Norfolk State Tuesday. They sent WTXL the following statement:

“The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Department of Athletics announced today that women’s basketball coach LeDawn Gibson and assistant coach LaTasha Shipman-Ganus will not return to the program. Assistant coach Kevin Lynum will assume responsibilities as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.


Arkansas–Pine Bluff head coach Nate Kilbert, in his seventh season at the helm, has been fired. Assistant coach Danny Evans named interim head coach.

The University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff has relieved Head Women’s Basketball Coach Nate Kilbert of his duties, effective immediately.

In six-plus seasons as head coach, Kilbert led the Lady Lions to five SWAC Tournament appearances, including a loss in the 2013 SWAC Tournament finals.

Assistant coach Danny Evans has been named Interim Head Coach. A nationwide search will be conducted at the conclusion of the season.

“We thank Coach Kilbert for his years of service to the University as head coach and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said UAPB Athletic Director Melvin Hines. “We felt a change was needed in our women’s basketball program, and decided to go in a different direction.”


Joe Haigh has resigned from his position as St. Francis (Pa.) head coach, after earlier taking a leave of absence. Interim coach Susan Robinson-Fruchtl “will continue to provide leadership to the team while long-term plans are finalized.”

Saint Francis University has announced that effective Feb. 1, 2019, Joe Haigh will be stepping down as the head coach of the Saint Francis University women’s basketball team.

“Over the past ten years, especially as head coach during the last six plus seasons, I have given virtually all my time and energy to coaching and developing young women at Saint Francis,” said Haigh. “Most of my waking moments have been dedicated to some aspect of the basketball program, and have applied tremendous pressure to myself especially during last season’s Championship run, and in the ensuing months leading into the 2018-19 academic year.”

While my priorities have been centered on a constant pursuit of excellence in our basketball program, I did not balance my priorities outside of basketball well, affecting my family and my health. With our oldest daughter graduating from high school this year, I now recognize that I’ve missed things that should have been more important in my life such as time with my children. At this time, I am stepping away to focus on my family to be a better father and husband, as well as focus on my health so that I can learn to better balance these priorities as a coach in the future. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to coach the Saint Francis University Red Flash Women’s Basketball program.”

“Joe Haigh and I have discussed this, and I know this was not an easy decision for him,” said Dr. Frank Montecalvo, Vice President for Innovative Partnerships and Student Development, who heads up the Athletics Division. “Under his coaching, the women’s basketball program has been a model of success in the classroom, in the community, and as a championship contender on the court. I am saddened that Joe is stepping down but I have deep respect for his decision which is in the best interest of his family.”

Originally, Haigh was granted a leave of absence on Nov. 13 from his coaching role. Director of Athletics Susan Robinson-Fruchtl assumed the position of coach for the season that was already in progress. “We want to thank Susan for her dedication to both the student-athletes and the University as a whole,” said Dr. Montecalvo. She will continue to provide leadership to the team while long-term plans are finalized.


Phil Stern, in his 17th year as UMBC head coach, is on leave. Serving as acting head coach is assistant coach Carlee Dewey. The team is currently 6-5 on the season.

Head women’s basketball coach Phil Stern is on leave from UMBC, the school said in a statement Thursday. Assistant coach Carlee Dewey is serving as acting head coach and has done so for the past two games, against Mount St. Mary’s and Hofstra. “The university cannot provide additional details regarding personnel matters,” the statement said.


UPDATE (2/22/2019): Stern has now resigned.

UMBC Head Women’s Basketball Coach Phil Stern has resigned. UMBC Athletic Director Tim Hall announced the change Friday, February 22, and indicated that current Acting Head Coach Carlee Dewey will continue in that role until the end of the 2018-19 season. A national search will be conducted for a new leader of the program.

An internal review by East Carolina‘s compliance office has led to the resignation of head coach Heather Macy, effective immediately. Assistant coach Chad Killinger was named interim head coach. The compliance review apparently involved the violation of practice rules. Official press release:

ECU Head Women’s Basketball Coach Heather Macy announced Wednesday she has resigned from her position effective immediately.

Her decision came at the conclusion of an internal review of the program led by the athletics department’s office of compliance.

“I regret that my misunderstanding about practice rules has led to this end, but I have chosen to resign in order to save the University and the team from any unnecessary distractions,” Macy said.

Macy, who compiled a 134-117 (.534) record in eight seasons leading the Pirates, will be reassigned within the department until the completion of her employment on Dec. 17, 2018.

Appointed as the Pirates’ ninth head coach in 2010, Macy finished her ECU tenure as the all-time winningest coach in program history and three postseason appearances.

Current assistant coach Chad Killinger has accepted the role as interim head coach according to ECU Acting Chief Operating Officer Lee Workman.


UPDATE (Dec. 26): Yet another coaching change for the Pirates, as interim head coach Chad Killinger has taken a leave of absence to address a medical issue and assistant coach Nicole Mealing has been named acting head coach. Despite this turmoil, ECU is off to its best start in six years, with a record of 9-2.

ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert announced Wednesday evening that assistant women’s basketball coach Nicole Mealing will serve as the Pirates’ acting head coach for the remainder of the season.

ECU has opened the 2018-2019 campaign with a 9-2 record under interim head coach Chad Killinger, the program’s best start in six years. Killinger, who assumed interim duties in October, will depart his post to take a leave of absence to address a non-life threatening health issue following a recent medical evaluation.

Mealing is in her third season as an assistant on the ECU staff and in her seventh overall year in Greenville.


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