Berry quits at LSU, says she's leaving coaching

Updated: April 13, 2007, 7:32 PM ET
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Carla Berry, the LSU assistant women's basketball coach who first told university administrators of Pokey Chatman's alleged improper conduct with former players, resigned Friday.

Berry, a former LSU player and an assistant coach for the past seven seasons, said she is leaving coaching to work in private business.

"I have enjoyed my years at LSU as a player and a coach, and I have memories I will cherish for a lifetime," Berry said in a statement released by the university. "I am excited about the future of LSU women's basketball, and I know the Lady Tigers will do great things with our new head coach, Van Chancellor."

Berry's allegations led to Chatman's abrupt resignation only days before the Lady Tigers began play in the NCAA Tournament. Top assistant Bob Starkey took over on an interim basis and Berry remained on the staff during LSU's run to a fourth-consecutive Final Four.

When Chancellor was hired as LSU's new head coach Wednesday, he said he had no plans to change the remaining coaching staff, and he said Friday that he had no role in Berry's decision to leave.

"It was something she decided well before I accepted this position, and I appreciate her candor regarding her intentions," Chancellor said. "Her contributions, particularly in the area of recruiting, have been invaluable to the success of Lady Tiger basketball. I have great respect for her integrity and dedication to LSU, especially the student-athletes. We wish her well in her future endeavors."

Berry played at LSU from 1988-92. She was a teammate of Chatman's for several seasons and became a fellow assistant with Chatman in 2000.

Chatman had spent two decades at LSU as a player, assistant coach and head coach. Taking over as acting head coach when the late Sue Gunter fell ill in 2004, Chatman led LSU to the Final Four.

Soon after, Chatman was given the head coaching job full-time and proved to be a charismatic and popular successor to Gunter, leading LSU to two more Final Four appearances and winning 90 games during the next three seasons before her resignation in early March. Chatman has not spoken publicly since the nature of Berry's allegations surfaced.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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