Henrickson gets five-year deal

Updated: March 27, 2004, 2:00 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Bonnie Henrickson of Virginia Tech was hired as the women's basketball coach at Kansas, which has won just five of its last 48 Big 12 games.

She was hired Thursday night and agreed to a five-year contract, Kansas associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said Saturday. A news conference is planned for Monday.

"She has had tremendous success as a head coach," Marchiony said. "She has roots in the Midwest, and she has had a lot of success in a very difficult basketball conference."

Henrickson led Virginia Tech to a 158-62 record the last seven years.

"We had a very solid package in place for her with an annuity to try to help her have long-term security here," Hokies athletic director Jim Weaver told the Roanoke (Va.)Times on Friday night. "I had hoped she would finish her career here, but I think Kansas must have a tremendous offer in place.

"She indicated she had no problems at all. It was just a wonderful offer and a gut decision. ... I think part of it was the challenge at the University of Kansas and I think part of it is a wonderful offer that must be there, because if they're willing to buy her out ... they must be offering an incredible amount of money."

She replaces longtime Kansas coach Marian Washington, who resigned last month for health reasons. In 31 seasons with the Jayhawks, she recorded 560 career wins. Kansas went 9-19 this season.

Virginia Tech lost to No. 1 seed Penn State in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Hokies reached the postseason in each of Henrickson's seven years, including the round of 16 in 2000.

Weaver told the newspaper that Kansas must pay Tech about $523,000 under the buyout clause in Henrickson's contract. That is what her base salary would be the next three years.

Weaver told the newspaper that Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins called 2½ weeks ago for permission to speak with Henrickson. Weaver told the paper "we all agreed" that no conversation with Henrickson would take place until the end of Tech's season.

Henrickson called Weaver on Friday morning to tell him she was leaving, according to the report. Henrickson reportedly broke the news to her players in a meeting Friday afternoon. Weaver also met with the players.

Sophomore forward Kerri Gardin said Henrickson told the players the Kansas job was an opportunity she couldn't pass up.

"Everybody's just shocked. I don't think we've quite grasped the whole situation yet," sophomore forward Kerri Gardin told the paper.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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