Archive for Saturday, February 25, 2006

Tech’s Sharp to step down

Coach will exit after 24 seasons in Lubbock

February 25, 2006

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— Texas Tech women's basketball coach Marsha Sharp, who won an NCAA title and turned the school into a perennial national power, said Friday she was resigning at the end of the season.

The 53-year-old Sharp made the announcement near the end of a season marked by health problems and Tech dropping out of the Top 25 for the first time in more than a decade.

"I knew the time was right for me," said Sharp, who said her health was fine and she was "good to go."

During 24 seasons in Lubbock, Sharp has taken Tech to 16 straight NCAA appearances, reaching the Elite Eight four times and the Sweet 16 seven times. The Red Raiders won the national title in 1993 when Sheryl Swoopes led them to a 31-3 record.

Inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003, Sharp hasn't had a losing season. This year could be different, though. Tech (13-12, 8-6 Big 12 Conference) has two conference games remaining before the Big 12 tournament in Dallas.

Sharp's final home game will be Wednesday against No. 9 Oklahoma.

"She's been a leader in women's basketball for a long time," Tech athletic director Gerald Myers said. "It's a close to a great era."

Myers said the school would begin a national search to replace Sharp after the season, but didn't rule out current assistants. Sharp will continue to work with the school as associate athletic director of special projects, and in that capacity "she's going to raise us some money," Myers said.

Sharp said she was staying in Lubbock but wouldn't rule out returning to coach a national or Olympic team.

She said her non-life-threatening heart problem in January was "significant enough to get my attention," but her decision to leave was made before then.

Sharp said she told Tech administrators in October that this would be her last year.

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