Penn State parts ways with women’s basketball coach Coquese Washington

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 20: Head coach Coquese Washington of the Penn State Lady Lions signals a play during a women's college basketball game against the American University Eagles at Bender Arena on December 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Eagles won 75-66. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State is parting ways with women’s basketball coach Coquese Washington, the school announced Friday.

The two parties “have agreed to a change in leadership,” the school said in its announcement.

Washington’s tenure at the head of the program ends after 12 seasons. Penn State went 12-18 this season, and was eliminated in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament Wednesday with a 65-57 loss to Wisconsin.

Penn State went 209-167 under Washington, making four NCAA Tournament appearances. The Nittany Lions captured three straight Big Ten Conference regular-season championships from 2011-14.

Washington was a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year.

“I am very appreciative of Coquese’s contributions to the Lady Lion basketball program and Penn State,” said Sandy Barbour, Penn State Vice President of Athletics. “She is committed to developing young women, has been impactful in our community and we are grateful for her dedication. We thank her for 12 years of service to Penn State, and wish Coquese and her family all the best in their future endeavors.  We both agree that the program is not where it needs to be, and this change of leadership is best at this time.”

“I’ve had an amazing run at Penn State,” Washington said. “I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people, especially the talented and dedicated staff members who were with me along this journey. I was fortunate to coach some extremely talented players along the way and will remember the fantastic experiences we enjoyed together. I am thankful for the Penn State and Lady Lion fans who supported us strongly year-in and year-out. I will always look back at my time at Penn State with fond memories while taking on this next chapter with my family.”

During her Penn State tenure, Washington coached 12 first-team All-Big Ten and 15 All-America selections and the Lady Lions earned 50 Academic All-Big Ten honors.

Barbour said a national search will immediately begin for Washington’s successor. Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics will utilize Ventura Partners to assist in the search process.

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