Kentucky coach DeMoss resigns

Updated: April 11, 2007, 10:34 AM ET
Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky women's basketball coach Mickie DeMoss abruptly resigned Wednesday after four seasons, saying she wants to step away from the game.

DeMoss met with players early Wednesday, said Susan Lax, who handles media relations for the team. DeMoss scheduled a news conference to discuss her resignation.

"This was a very difficult decision for me," DeMoss said in a statement. "After 30 years of coaching, I just want to step back and reassess what I want to do for the rest of my life."

DeMoss, a former assistant coach to Pat Summitt at Tennessee, agreed to a new contract last year that would have kept her with the school through 2011 and would have paid her about $350,000 a season.

"I would never rule out a return to coaching again," she said. "But for me, right now was the best time to step away."

The Wildcats finished 20-14 (6-8 SEC) this year, making the National Invitation Tournament. Last year, DeMoss led the Wildcats to their first NCAA tournament appearance in seven years and a breakout season that included a victory over the top-ranked Lady Vols.

DeMoss' departure means Kentucky will have a new coach for both the men's and women's programs. Billy Gillispie was hired last week as the men's coach after Tubby Smith left for Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press