Jane Albright, head women's basketball coach at Wisconsin since 1994-95, will resign from her position at the end of the current season according to Wisconsin Senior Associate Athletic Director Jamie Pollard.
"During the past week, Coach Albright and I have had discussions about her status as coach," Pollard said. "We felt that either a long-term contract extension for her or a coaching change at UW were the only options. We determined that awarding a long-term contract was not appropriate and, as a result, she decided to resign."
Pollard cited the department's goals for the women's basketball program in explaining the decision to not offer a long-term contract. Her team's academic success and strong community service involvement were outstanding. Although Albright's teams recorded several first-division finishes in the league, they did not advance far in Big Ten or NCAA post-season play. "The program's on-court success was clearly inconsistent with the resources committed to the program," said Pollard.
Albright, the winningest coach in Wisconsin history with a 161-104 record, will coach the Badgers in their road games at Minnesota and Penn State this week and at the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament (March 6-10) in Indianapolis.
"It is with great sadness and deep disappointment that I submit my resignation as women's basketball coach at the University of Wisconsin," said Albright. "After nine years of elevating the program, achieving goals and breaking new ground, the administration has indicated my efforts and the performance of my teams have not met their expectations. In life, we don't control the events or the timing of them. While I have not reached my dreams here, it is best for BadgerBall that I step aside."
Taking over a program that had losing seasons in nine of the prior 10 seasons, Albright produced eight consecutive years with winning records until 2002-03 (UW is 7-18 overall). Four of her clubs won at least 20 games and seven earned post-season bids (five NCAA, two WNIT). Her teams recorded a 2-5 mark in NCAA Tournament games and never advanced past the second round. The Badgers were 4-8 in the Big Ten Tournament under Albright. She is, however, credited with raising the interest in the women's basketball program and the home attendance average has ranked among the Top 10 nationally since 1995.
Pollard said the decision was very difficult and recognized Albright for being "a positive contributor to the campus and university, a good ambassador for the UW and a tireless promoter of women's athletics. She is a person of high character with a strong work ethic and a passion for the game and her student-athletes."
Pollard said that a national search will begin immediately to identify a replacement.
Jane Albright Resigns
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