Last week, new Washington State athletic director Pat Chun made his first major move in the position. After 11 years, June Daugherty was out as head coach of Washington State women’s basketball. The move came as a surprise to some after Chun said, in his introductory press conference, that he would not be making any major personnel move for six months. After her lengthy leave of absence this season, some speculated that Daugherty’s ongoing health issues had something to do with the move.
On Tuesday, after a week of radio silence, Chun explained the move. Chun took the airwaves on “Cougs in 60,” his weekly radio show, to dispel those health rumors. He told host Derek Deis that the move was “100% performance related.” Chun continued to say that the main goal was a Pac-12 championship, and he didn’t think a Daugherty-led team would get there. “The greatest indicator to future success is past performance the the best we’ve ever finished in the past 11 years was 7th place in the Pac-12... At the end of the day, that’s just not good enough.” Chun did acknowledge the state of the program when Daugherty arrived, but still felt a move had to be made.
It’s definitely an interesting first move to make, especially with the other basketball program at the university in an... Um... Interesting place. And the move hasn’t been without backlash. Since the firing a little over a week ago both Louise Brown and Nike McClure have announced their intention to transfer from the program. Chun responded to those moves on Tuesday saying, “at the end of the day we want student-athletes that want to be here, that want to achieve great things here, that want to fight and lead us to victory.” Chun said that he met with the returning players on the team recently and that he is “committed to delivering a coach that will help them achieve their goals.”
The next women’s basketball coach might not seem like a big hire to the average Cougar fan. But this will be a very interesting hire for the school’s new AD. The kind of hire he makes will give us a glimpse into the future of other programs at the school. So, stay tuned, Coug fans.
You can listen to the complete “Cougs in 60” interview at the link, here.
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