Women's Basketball Coach Not Retained

Sportswriters covering Alabama's press briefing regarding spring football practice expected another story to break when they exited the Mal M. Moore building Tuesday. Members of the Alabama women's basketball team were assembling with Senior Women's Administrator Marie Robbins. It is likely the young women were very surprised by the news they received.

The official announcement came a little later from Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore. He said Stephany Smith will not return to coach the Crimson Tide in the 2008-09 season. Moore informed Smith of his decision during a meeting on Tuesday.

"Stephany Smith took our head coaching job at The University of Alabama three years ago and inherited a program that was going through some difficult circumstances," Moore said. "I appreciate her efforts, as well as those of her staff. However, I feel it is best that the program move forward under new leadership in order to compete consistently at the very highest level."

Smith recently completed her third season as the head coach of Alabama after being hired as the seventh head coach in the history of the Alabama women's basketball program on April 13, 2005. She took over the Crimson Tide following an eight-year stint as head coach at Middle Tennessee State, where her teams compiled a 153-88 (.635) overall record.

In three years at the helm of the Alabama women's basketball program, Smith compiled a record of 27-61 overall and a 4-41 mark against Southeastern Conference opponents, including an 0-3 mark in SEC Tournament appearances.

Her career record, including eight years as head coach at Middle Tennessee, is 180-149. In 2007-08 the Tide compiled an 8-22 overall record and a 1-14 mark against SEC opponents. Alabama went 7-8 in non-conference play.

In 2006-07 the Tide posted a 10-5 mark in non-conference play, but Alabama was 0-15 in league play. In 2005-06, Smith's inaugural season at the Capstone, Alabama posted a 9-19 overall record and a 3-12 mark against conference foes.

Three Tide players earned all-conference honors under Smith. Navonda Moore earned Second-Team All-SEC recognition in 2006 and honorable mention accolades in 2007. In 2008, Tierney Jenkins was named to the All-Freshman squad. Earlier in the 2007-08 season Jenkins became the first Tide player under Smith to earn SEC Freshman of the Week honors.

Moore will initiate a search for a new head coach immediately.

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