SEATTLE -- After a huge scare, an outpouring of care from
cross-state rivals and some upcoming rest, June Daugherty
apparently will be back on the job of rebuilding the Washington
State women's basketball program.
Daugherty was upgraded from critical to serious condition on
Wednesday after going into cardiac arrest the day before, said a
hospital spokeswoman in Everett, Wash., north of here.
Washington State, which hired Daugherty last month after
Washington fired her despite a winning record over 11 seasons,
released a statement saying the Cougars had no information on the
length of her recovery but that the news "is as good as we could
hope for, under the circumstances."
"We are relieved June is feeling better and her status has been
upgraded," Cougars athletic director Jim Sterk said later.
WSU sports information director Rod Commons said, "[We] have
been told she can return to full activity. Basically, they expect
With that, Cougars and Huskies alike exhaled.
The 50-year-old Daugherty was hospitalized Tuesday after her
heart stopped at a medical clinic in Everett, where she was to take
a physical, according to her husband, Mike Daugherty, who is also
her associate head coach at WSU. Personnel from the clinic attended
to Daugherty before taking her to Providence Everett Medical
"June had a cardiac arrest yesterday and is stabilized now. She
is doing as well as can be expected," he said in a statement
released Wednesday by the hospital.
The Daughertys, parents of 13-year-old twins Breanne and Doc,
live in Mukilteo, near Everett.
By midmorning Wednesday, the nurses station at the hospital's
intensive care unit reported the coach's condition had improved to
serious, hospital spokeswoman Cheri Russum said.
By then, most members of the current Washington team and former
Huskies scattered throughout the Northwest -- all of whom were
recruited by the Daughertys -- were on their way to visit the coach.
Traveling with them were thoughts and prayers transcending the
divide that usually separates the state's largest universities and
"June is a very special person," Sterk said. "[She] already
has won the hearts and support of the Cougar nation and I know they
also are keeping her and her family in their prayers."
Washington athletic director Todd Turner, who fired Daugherty
largely because he thought her Huskies program lacked buzz, said:
"June and her family have made a lot of great friends throughout
the Washington Husky community over the years and our sincere
thoughts and concerns go out to her. We wish her a complete and
Kayla Burt, a former Huskies player and current Portland
assistant coach, left Oregon Tuesday night to visit Daugherty,
Portland spokesman Jason Brough said. Burt, who was not immediately
available for comment, had special reason to be there.
A defibrillator was implanted in her chest after her heart
stopped on New Year's Eve 2002 while she was in her off-campus
apartment in Seattle. After a hiatus as a student coach for
Daugherty, Burt returned to the Huskies for the 2004-05 season. But
she retired in January, 2006, after the defibrillator activated
during a game.
The WSU statement said that Daugherty's condition "was not
described as a heart attack, but cardiac arrest. Hospital medical
personnel have told the family there [were] no anticipated long
term issues and no blockage."
Cardiac arrest is the heart suddenly stopping, with death
starting to occur within minutes if the heart's beat is not
restored by an electric shock, according to the American Heart
Association. A heart attack is permanent damage to the heart muscle
due to lack of blood supply.
Daugherty coached Washington to the NCAA tournament the past two
seasons and in six of her 11 years with the Huskies. But she was
dismissed by Washington on March 18, one day after the Huskies lost
their first-round game in the NCAA tournament to Iowa State.
At Washington, Daugherty compiled a 191-139 overall record and a
113-85 Pac-10 mark. Daugherty coached from 1989-96 at Boise State,
where she posted a 123-74 overall record.
She took over a WSU program that has not had a winning season
since 1995-96. Daugherty replaced Sherri Murrell, who resigned
April 5 after compiling a 27-114 record in her five years as coach.
Murrell was 8-82 in Pac-10 play.
While Daugherty recovers, the Cougars' women's basketball
offseason duties fall to their two newest hires, assistant coaches
Brian Holsinger and Mo Hines.