Labati's Miami teams went 303-195 in 17 seasons

Updated: March 25, 2005, 12:10 AM ET
Associated Press

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 years.

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 (13-16, 4-10).

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.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press