Michigan women’s basketball coach Sue Guevara resigned Monday after her seventh season as head coach.

Last season was Guevara’s first losing season, as Michigan finished tied for last in the Big Ten (3-13 Big Ten, 13-16 Overall). She is the winningest coach in Michigan women’s basketball history, with a career record of 123-82.

“We have had two consecutive rough Big Ten seasons and I think the program needs a change,” Guevara said in a written statement.

“I believe we have accomplished many positive goals for this program and I think we have put the program in a position that it can be nationally competitive.”

Guevara could not be reached for further comment from her home.

In 2001-02, Michigan started the season 10-1 and was ranked as high as twelfth in the nation before going 6-10 in the conference.

This past season, the Wolverines started off 9-2 and again cracked the top 25 before going 3-13 in Big Ten play.

Last week, several players anonymously voiced concerns they had about Guevara being too negative during practices and a lack of communication between Guevara and her players.

Guevara met with each player individually last week and, according to team MVP Jennifer Smith, the meetings effectively cleared the air between the players and their coach.

“I think everyone was open with one another,” Smith said.

“(Guevara) understood our concerns. Any problems the team had were settled during the meetings,” Smith added. Other players either declined comment or could not be reached.

Last week, assistant coach Ron Mott also resigned, and one player anonymously said it was “clearly seen” that Mott was not respected by the rest of the coaching staff.

Mott said he left the program because he is having eye surgery in the near future and wasn’t sure how long it would take him to recover. Yesterday, from his home in Okemos, he again insisted that is why he left the program and declined any further comment.

According to Athletic Director Bill Martin, Guevara’s resignation came during a meeting the two had on Monday night, adding in a written statement that Guevara “stated her last two seasons didn’t live up to Michigan’s or her own personal standards.”

“Sue is a wonderful person and a real professional, understanding that our program needs a change,” Martin said. Martin could not be reached for further comment and Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator Megan McCallister declined comment on the story. According to Martin, McCallister will be instrumental in the search for a new coach, which will start soon.

“Megan McCallister will chair a screening committee that will immediately begin a national search for a new head coach,” Martin said. “We will put together a group similar in its makeup as to the one we brought together when we hired Tommy Amaker as our men’s coach.”

The 10-member screening committee that helped select Amaker two years ago consisted of men’s players LaVell Blanchard and Chris Young, Assistant Athletic Director Warde Manuel, Undergraduate Admissions Director Ted Spencer, five former men’s players and Guevara. Michigan’s only two seniors next season will be Smith and Stephanie Gandy.

Guevara originally assumed the position on an interim basis in 1996, but became the permanent head coach on her way to a 15-11 record in her first season, a year after Michigan went 7-20. Since then, Guevara took Michigan to the NCAA Tournament three times (1998, 2000, 2001) and was named Big Ten Coach of the Year twice (1998, 2000).

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *