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Hutchinson resigns after 28 seasons
Posted: Tuesday March 02, 1999 06:44 PM
NORMAL, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois State women's basketball coach Jill Hutchison said Tuesday she is resigning after 28 years, the longest tenure of any woman at an NCAA Division I school.
With the Redbirds posting an 8-20 record this season, Hutchison said it was time for a new coach. In her time at Illinois State, Hutchison was 460-323 record with 12 national tournament appearances, including three in the NCAA.
"Our program needs a shot of energy and enthusiasm that a new coach can bring," Hutchison said. "I strongly regret not having put a winning team on the floor the past two seasons. ... My decision is greatly influenced by the lack of success we have experienced. This program deserves better."
Hutchison, 53, will stay on to work on special projects, including the choice of her successor.
Hutchinson, a four-time national president of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and three-time coach of the year in the Missouri Valley Conference, is credited by her peers as one of the early leaders in promoting women's college basketball to its current popularity.
"When you come into the Missouri Valley, you have great respect for Jill for all she's done for basketball," said Drake coach Lisa Bluder. "I've tried to model my development as a basketball coach after her."
North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell called Hutchison a pioneer in women's basketball.
"She has been instrumental in changes and developments in women's basketball more than anyone I know of," Hatchell said.
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