Los Angeles, Calif. - UCLA Senior Associate Athletic Director/Senior Women's Administrator Petrina Long announced today that Kathy Olivier has resigned from her position of head women's basketball coach, effective today. Olivier will continue to work for the Athletic Department on special projects yet to be determined.
"This was a very difficult decision for Kathy," said Long. "She has represented our program with class and dignity during her 15 years as head coach. She has recruited great young women who have excelled both on the court and in the classroom.
"Kathy and I have had several discussions over the future of the program. She still wants to be a part of UCLA Athletics, but she also realized it was time to turn the women's basketball program over to new leadership. Fifteen years is a long time, and I think she is looking forward to new challenges."
"This was one of the hardest decisions of my life," said Olivier, "I have won a Pac-10 title and the Pac-10 Tournament, but what has been most gratifying is working with the players in our program and helping them become young women who can make a difference in our society.
"I have been offered the opportunity to take the next step in my career by moving into administration, and I think the timing is right. The new coach will be able to build with almost the entire team returning, and I will still be a member of the Bruin family that I have loved being part of for over 20 years."
Olivier compiled a record of 232-208 during her 15 seasons as head coach. This season, the Bruins finished with a record of 16-15. They tied for fourth in the Pac-10 and defeated USC in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals. Lindsey Pluimer was selected the Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year in her sport and was a first-team All-Pac-10 performer. Two years ago, the Bruins won the Pac-10 Tournament. In 1999, UCLA won a share of the Pac-10 Conference titles and advanced to the Elite Eight. She has also produced several WNBA performers, including current players Nikki Blue, Lisa Willis and Noelle Quinn.
A national search for a new head coach will begin immediately.
BRO Note: This was obviously not just Olivier's choice, of course.
We've heard, too, that UCLA will more than likely not pursue a big-named (or big-salaried) coaches as her replacement. Sources have indicated that the UCLA AD will probably pursue head coaches at mid-major schools or accomplished asssistants for the position.