Penn State women's basketball will have a new coach for the 2019-20 season and beyond as the program officially parted ways with longtime coach Coquese Washington on Friday.
“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.”
The Lady Lions season came to an end on Wednesday with a loss to Wisconsin in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament. Penn State went 12-18, 5-13 in conference in 2018-19 and missed the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year.
“I’ve had an amazing run at Penn State,” Washington said in a statement. “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.”
During her 12-year stint as Lady Lions' head coach, Washington guided the program to 209-169 overall record, including a 98-106 mark in Big Ten play. Penn State won three consecutive Big Ten Championships from 2011-12 to 2013-14, with seven post-season tournament appearances (4 NCAA, 3 WNIT). The Lady Lions advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2012 and ’14.
Washington was a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Barbour said a national search will immediately begin for Washington’s successor. Former assistant Fred Chmiel, Penn State alum and Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy as well as former Minnesota head coach Pam Borton are some early candidate names that come to mind.
Barbour is slated to speak to the media at 4 p.m. and this story will be updated.