MIAMI -- Miami fired basketball coach Ferne Labati on
Thursday, three weeks after the Hurricanes completed a 16-loss
campaign and missed the postseason for the first time in four
Labati posted a 303-195 record in 17 seasons at Miami, including
12 winning seasons, six NCAA berths and three WNIT appearances. Her
team lost five of its last six games, including a 34-point loss to
Duke and a 45-point defeat against a Virginia Tech team Miami had
beaten three weeks earlier.
"Decisions like these are always extremely difficult,"
athletic director Paul Dee said. "But despite the difficulty in
these circumstances, and after careful deliberation, we have
decided that it is in the best interest of the women's basketball
program to make a change."
Miami entered the year with high hopes after finishing 22-7 in
2003-04 and reaching the NCAA Tournament for the second straight
year. But the team struggled in its first Atlantic Coast Conference
year, finishing the regular season ninth in the 11-team league
The Hurricanes, which won consecutive Big East regular-season
titles in 1992 and 1993, went to the NIT in 2001-02.
Labati did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
She came to Miami in 1988 after four years at Fairleigh
Dickinson and five at Trenton State. Miami reached the postseason
in four of her first five years, and her 1991-92 team finished 30-2
-- the best record in the program's history.