After more than a decade on the Palouse, June Daugherty is out as the head coach of the Washington State Cougars women’s basketball team. New athletic director Pat Chun made the announcement in a media release this afternoon.
“Thank you to Coach June Daugherty for her years of service to Washington State University,” said Chun in the release. “We appreciate everything she has done for our student-athletes, women’s basketball and this university.”
Daugherty was under contract for just one more year and took an indefinite leave of absence in January citing an undisclosed medical issue. Her husband and associate head coach, Mike Daugherty, had been coaching the team since then.
In 11 seasons in Pullman, Daugherty posted a 130-218 record and made it to the Women’s NIT on three occasions, including a run to the final last season.
Though this flies in the face of Chun’s statement at his introductory press conference that no immediate changes were coming, Daugherty was going into the last year of her deal and either needed to be let go or extended. It would have been exceedingly difficult for her to recruit with just one year remaining and no guarantee she would be here after the following season.
The program, despite its struggles, is certainly in better shape than when Daugherty took over. She struggled out of the gate but brought in much better players than her predecessors had. WSU came much closer to the Big Dance during Daugherty’s tenure but fell short when her most highly touted players had the most experience. Still though, Daugherty brought in a caliber of player WSU had rarely seen in its women’s basketball program and, for that, she deserves a lot of credit.
Daugherty was also known for the academic performance of her players. The women’s basketball team scored a perfect 1000 APR score in six of the last seven seasons which, at last check, brought their rolling score to one of the highest on campus.
Chun says a national search for Daugherty’s replacement will get underway immediately.