April 5, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State Head Women's Basketball Coach Sherri Murrell has resigned, Cougar Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced Thursday.
Murrell, who became the sixth coach to lead the WSU program in March 2002, owned a 27-114 record during her five-year tenure with the Cougars. WSU student-athletes garnered 18 academic honors and seven athletic accolades from the Pacific-10 Conference during her time in Pullman. The Cougars placed one student-athlete on the All-Pac-10 Academic First Team during each of Murrell's five seasons.
"This is the hardest decision I've ever had to make," said Murrell. "I put my heart and soul into this program and I'm excited for the future at Washington State. This was a very young team that I worked with this year. They're going to win next year, I believe that."
"I want to thank the Cougar family for their incredible support and for the lifelong friendships that have developed over the years," Murrell continued. "I thank Jim Sterk and President V. Lane Rawlins for their commitment to this program and staff. I have the utmost respect for this administration and university. I truly love my team and leaving them was the hardest part of this decision. I know these young women will be successful and will continue to improve this program. I appreciate all their hard work and dedication."
In a press conference Thursday, Murrell expressed that she does not, as yet, have a plan for her future.
Murrell recruited and coached four-year letterwinner Kate Benz, the Cougars' all-time leading rebounder with 899 boards and the 11th student-athlete to score 1,000 points in WSU women's basketball history. As a sophomore in 2005, Benz became the first Cougar to lead the Pac-10 in rebounding and repeated the feat in 2006.
"It was a very difficult decision for Sherri," said WSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk. "I respect her, I respect her coaches, and I wish her the very best. We were obviously very excited when Sherri came here and sad to see her resign. She put her heart and soul into her job, and she is very well-respected as a professional and an individual in the department and in the community. She's leaving the program in better shape than when she arrived."
WSU's student-athletes coached by Murrell occupy 17 spots on Cougar career top 10 lists and nine on WSU single-season top 10 lists. In 2005-06, Katie Appleton and Amanda DuRocher each made 50 treys to set the WSU freshman record for 3-pointers in a season.
"I know that Coach Murrell and the staff put in a lot of hard work and I know they gave it their best shot. As a team, we wish Coach Murrell the best of luck. We love her and we hope she does well in the future. We wish her success," said sophomore guard and team captain, Katie Appleton.
Sterk stated he and a council of administrators would begin the search for a new head coach immediately and said his number one concern was the welfare of the team, especially that of the student-athletes.