A stalwart of women’s basketball in the Pacific Northwest and long time Washington State Cougars coach, June Daugherty, has passed away. The Spokesman Review reported this morning Daugherty died at her home in Boise earlier this week at just 64 years old.
Daugherty led the Washington State women’s basketball program for eleven seasons, guiding the program to three Women’s NIT appearances. During her final year in 2018, she took a medical leave of absence and never returned to the bench. Daugherty came to Washington State after a storied career with their cross state rivals, the Washington Huskies. Under Daugherty, the team went to seven NCAA Tournaments and one Elite Eight before she was let go in 2007, a move the program has never recovered from. Daugherty’s head coaching career started with the Boise State Broncos, where she spent seven seasons before heading to Seattle.
Speaking personally, Daugherty was always a joy to be around. She was calm, warm, and welcoming to anyone. She made the life of a young reporter an easy one, happy to help out in any way she could with interviews, post-game media time, or even some tickets to an away game when our paths happened to cross in San Francisco a number of years ago. That she never got the Cougs into the NCAA Tournament is among the greatest disappointments for me as a Wazzu fan because Daugherty, as a person and a coach, deserved it so damn much. Her players always, and I mean ALWAYS, graduated. She cared so greatly for all of them and I know we all wished so desperately for them to get that payoff of an appearance in the Big Dance.
She’ll be sorely missed by so many. Please keep her husband Mike and twins Breanne and Doc in your thoughts.