Melissa McFerrin Retires and is Replaced by Katrina Merriweather

Ignatius L Hoops

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Former Gopher assistant retires as Memphis Basketball head coach.

MEMPHIS — Melissa McFerrin, who is in her 13th season as Memphis women's basketball head coach, has retired effective immediately, director of athletics Laird Veatch announced Sunday.

McFerrin won the third-most games in Memphis history with a record of 193-199, including 243-269 in her 17-year career as a head coach. The Tigers made four-straight tournament appearances from 2010-13. Memphis is 4-10 overall and 2-7 in the American Athletic Conference this season.

"I have coached my entire career with personal and professional goals in alignment," said McFerrin. "But things change over time. I remained at Memphis the past two seasons to see the renovation of Elma Roane Fieldhouse completed and to coach a group of young women in which I have a tremendous belief.

"In arriving at the decision to retire, this time, personal reasons have won out over professional ones. It is time for a new season in my life."

In her second season at Memphis in 2009-10, the Tigers went 20-14 and reached the WBI finals. In 2010-11, McFerrin led the Tigers to a 21-13 record, the program's most wins since 1998-99. In her fourth season in 2011-12, Memphis went 25-8, finished runner-up in the Conference USA regular-season standings and earned a WNIT bid.

"Coach McFerrin notified me of her decision this morning, and I want to thank her for her dedication to coaching Memphis women's basketball for many years," said Veatch. "She had a long career coaching the Tigers, and we all wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors."

In Memphis' third year in the American Athletic Conference in 2015-16, the Tigers went 18-13 overall and 12-6 in AAC play, making another WNIT appearance. Memphis, which was picked seventh in the preseason AAC poll, finished fourth behind NCAA Champion UConn, NCAA Tournament participant USF and WNIT quarterfinalist Temple.

In 2016-17, Memphis defeated Vanderbilt for the first time in almost 30 years and defeated No. 20 USF for the second-straight season. The next year, the Tigers won at Vanderbilt for the first time in program history.

McFerrin coached four years at American prior to coming to Memphis, leading the Eagles to the 2007 Patriot League Tournament championship game in her third season. Her 2007-08 team won the Patriot League regular-season title en route to a WNIT appearance, finishing with an 18-14 overall record.

Associate head coach Michelle Savage will guide the team through the remainder of the 2020-21 season as interim head coach. A national search for the permanent head coach will be conducted at the conclusion of the season.
 

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FWIW: The Daily Memphian put together a list of candidates. One, Ashley Earley is currently an assistant coach in the B1G (Penn State).
Ashley Earley

Currently: Assistant at Penn State

Why her:
Earley was a starter at Briarcrest, winning Miss Basketball in 2001, before going on to an All-American career at Vanderbilt. She started her coaching career as a grad assistant at Alabama, and also had stints at Tennessee Tech, Rhode Island, Marquette, Virginia, Vanderbilt and Northern Kentucky before joining the Nittany Lions ahead of the 2019-2020 season. Earley is well-regarded as a defensive specialist and in helping post players develop

The remainder listed:
Mark Cambell head coach at Union University
Matt Insell an assistant at Middle Tennessee (one time HC at Mississippi)
Kevin McMillan head coach at UT-Martin
Todd Schaefer associated head coach at Arkansas
Jennifer Sullivan an assistant at Tennessee
Lauren Sumski head coach at Lipscomb
 

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Closing the story: Katrina Merriweather, who's Wright State squad defeated Arkansas in the NCAA tournament, was named head coach at Memphis.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Katrina Merriweather, who led Wright State to the program's first NCAA Tournament win this season and the only three Horizon League Championships in school history, has been named Memphis' 12th women's basketball head coach, director of athletics Laird Veatch announced Monday. She also led the Raiders to the school's only back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2019 and 2021.

Merriweather was named Horizon League Coach of the Year in 2021 for the third time in her five seasons at Wright State while being a part of all three of the Raiders' NCAA Tournament appearances and Horizon League Tournament titles in school history, twice as head coach in 2019 and 2021 and one as an assistant in 2014. She had a 113-47 (.706) record in five seasons at Wright State.

In Wright State's 66-62 upset of Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament First Round last Monday, the Raiders became the first No. 13 seed to defeat a No. 4 seed since 2012. Prior to this season, No. 13 seeds were just 9-104 (.080) all-time in NCAA Tournament play.

Wright State fell to No. 5 seed Missouri State in the NCAA Tournament Second Round on Wednesday.

In 2020-21, Merriweather led the Raiders to a Horizon League co-regular-season title with a 19-8 record overall and a 15-5 league mark. The Raiders breezed through the Horizon League Tournament with three-straight double-digit wins by an average of 13.7 points over Northern Kentucky (74-56), Cleveland State (73-62) and IUPUI (53-41).

"Coach Merriweather is a proven winner and led Wright State to its first NCAA Tournament win in history this year," said Veatch. "She won two Horizon League titles, led the Raiders to three NCAA Tournaments and was named Horizon League Coach of the Year three times. She is an outstanding coach, is a great recruiter and runs a first-class overall program. We are so excited to welcome Katrina to the Memphis Family."
 

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I totally spaced on why Katrina Merriweather's name was so familiar. Purdue's downfall began with her...sort of. Anyway, she's recovered from her three year "show-cause" penalty.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Purdue's women's basketball team will lose
two scholarships for this season and the school will spend two
years on probation after the NCAA ruled Wednesday that a former
assistant coach helped write a research paper for a player and made
more than 100 improper recruiting calls.

The NCAA, however, did not punish then-coach Kristy Curry, now
at Texas Tech. That decision was made even though the NCAA
infractions committee said it was "troubled" that Curry had been
told about the violations twice and did not immediately report them
to Purdue officials.

Former Purdue assistant Katrina Merriweather admitted to typing,
correcting and revising a paper for former point guard Cherelle
George during the 2005-06 season, the NCAA said. Both were
suspended indefinitely before the Big Ten tournament that season
and neither returned to the program.

"The case is an object lesson in why coaches should not involve
themselves in any way in trying to help student athletes with their
academic work," infractions committee chairwoman Josephine Potuto
said. "That's what academic advisers and tutors are there for."

Curry said she did not believe she had done anything wrong at
Purdue.

"When I learned of the accusation against one of my assistants,
twice I looked into it and didn't uncover any wrongdoing," she
said in a statement from Texas Tech. "I was convinced that there
was no violation."

Merriweather's contract was automatically terminated when Curry
left Purdue for Texas Tech in March 2006.

Investigators also found that Merriweather made 105
impermissible telephone calls to two recruits. The NCAA considered
the phone calls a major rules violation because they were not an
isolated incident.

"The matter has now been adjudicated, and it is time to put it
behind us," Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke said in a
statement. "While we cannot guarantee behavior, we will deal with
each issue in a fair and objective manner upholding the rules and
values of Purdue University, the Big Ten Conference and the NCAA."

The penalties will reduce Purdue's scholarships from 15 to 13
for this season. The Boilermakers, who went 31-6 and reached the
NCAA tournament's round of eight last season, will not face any
restrictions on postseason play.

Because of the violations, if Merriweather wants to coach
another NCAA school during the next three years, she and the school
must appear before the committee to determine whether her duties
should be limited.

Potuto said the fallout could have been worse if Purdue hadn't
reported the violations.

"Every institution has an obligation to cooperate with the NCAA
with any inquiry involving NCAA violations," Potuto said. "Purdue
cooperated and did what it was supposed to do, consistent with NCAA
bylaws."
 
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