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McKinney Will Not Return as Clemson Women’s Basketball Coach

March 10, 2010

CLEMSON, SC – Cristy McKinney has resigned as Clemson Women’s Basketball Head Coach. Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips made the announcement on Wednesday.

McKinney served the Clemson program for each of the last five years, including this past year when the team had a 13-18 record against the nation’s 15th most difficult schedule, Clemson faced four top 10 teams, and nine top 25 teams, the most in 10 years.

“I would like to thank Clemson University for the opportunity to coach at such a fine institution in such a great athletic department,” said McKinney. “I’d also like to thank all of the people who supported me during my time at Clemson.

“At this time, I believe a change is needed for me and Clemson University. I’d like to wish Clemson University and Lady Tiger Basketball all the best going forward.”

This was McKinney’s 18th season as a head coach in Division-I, and she has compiled a 275-231 record overall, including six 20-win seasons and two NCAA Tournament appearances at Rice. She averaged 20.4 wins a year her last eight years at Rice.

McKinney finished with a 58-93 record for her five seasons at Clemson, including upset victories in the first round of the ACC Tournament in 2008 and 2009. That was the first time in 10 years Clemson won games in back-to-back ACC Tournaments. She also coached Clemson to victory over rival South Carolina in each of the last two seasons.

McKinney had a positive impact on the careers of many Lady Tigers, including all-time great Lele Hardy, a senior on this year’s Clemson team. Hardy was a two-time All-ACC selection and two-time All-ACC Defensive Team selections during her four years. Hardy, who played all four years under McKinney, is ranked first in school history in steals, third in rebounding, and fifth in scoring. Hardy and Christy Brown were All-ACC Freshman Team selection in 2006-07.

McKinney is a 1979 graduate of NC State, where she played four seasons under Hall of Fame Coach Kay Yow. She scored 1,359 points and grabbed 600 rebounds, and still holds the freshman scoring record for the Wolfpack.

“I greatly appreciate Cristy McKinney hard work and dedication to Clemson University and this athletic department the last five years,” said Phillips. “She is an outstanding professional who always had her student-athletes well being at the forefront.

“We will begin our search for a new coach immediately.”