Penn State and head coach Coquese Washington part ways

After making two sweet sixteen appearances in three seasons, the Lady Lions have now missed five straight NCAA tournaments.

Penn State announced that the school and head women’s basketball coach Coquese Washington have mutually agreed to part ways. Penn State lost in the first round of the Big Ten conference tournament and finished the season 12-19 (5-13).

“I am very appreciative of Coquese’s contributions to the Lady Lion basketball program and Penn State,” said Sandy Barbour, Penn State Vice President of Athletics. “She is committed to developing young women, has been impactful in our community and we are grateful for her dedication. We thank her for 12 years of service to Penn State, and wish Coquese and her family all the best in their future endeavors.  We both agree that the program is not where it needs to be, and this change of leadership is best at this time.”

Washington won 196 games during her tenure in State College, including a run from 2011-2014 when the team finished in first place in the Big Ten each season and make two sweet sixteen appearances. She was named Big 10 Coach of the Year three times.

“I’ve had an amazing run at Penn State,” Washington said. “I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people, especially the talented and dedicated staff members who were with me along this journey. I was fortunate to coach some extremely talented players along the way and will remember the fantastic experiences we enjoyed together. I am thankful for the Penn State and Lady Lion fans who supported us strongly year-in and year-out. I will always look back at my time at Penn State with fond memories while taking on this next chapter with my family.”

Since the second sweet sixteen run in 2014, the team’s on-court performance has taken a steep decline. A 6-24 (3-15) season in 2014-15 was followed but a better, but still substandard, record of 12-19 (6-12) the next season.

The team did manage to make the WNIT each of the past two seasons, but after a 12th place finish in the conference and no postseason coming, the decision was made to start fresh with a new coach.

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