On March 13-th after 21 years at the helm of the women's basketball program, Laurie Pirtle announces her retirement as head coach. Less than one month later the Bearcats named J. Kelley Hall as the programs new head coach.
Much has changed since Laurie Pirtle took over the women's basketball program at the University of Cincinnati in 1986. Taking over a program that was struggling, Pirtle soon transformed the Bearcats into a winning team and never looked back as she took the program to new heights as women's basketball became more widely accepted by the main stream sports media.
During her Bearcats career her teams won 310 games and advanced to postseason play more times than under any coach in school history. She leaves behind a program as the winningest women's basketball coach in the programs history.
While Pirtle left the program better than she found it, her successor will be called upon to take it to even greater heights.
Women's basketball has changed during the past fifteen years and J. Kelley Hall takes over a program in the top women's basketball conference at a school looking to reach the pinnacle of the sport.
Considered one of the top recruiters in the nation, Kelley Hall came from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette having taken teams to six NCAA Tournaments, one WNIT appearance while also coaching six All-Americans. Kelley Hall entered Cincinnati with a 290-118 record and the energy and experience needed to reach the lofty goals set by athletic director Mike Thomas to compete on a national level on and off the court.