After six seasons, Santa Clara won't renew Bento-Jackson's contract

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Santa Clara will not renew the contract of women's basketball coach Michelle Bento-Jackson, parting ways with the sixth-year coach in an expected move by the school announced Tuesday.

Her contract expired after this season, with the school saying that takes her through the conclusion of this academic calendar.

The Broncos (20-11) lost 72-66 in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament earlier this month to eventual champion San Diego after finishing as the WCC's second-place team in the regular season.

Bento-Jackson had been under fire for several years, with some former players having referred to her as being verbally abusive and pushing them too hard.

"This decision comes after a great deal of careful thought and consideration," Santa Clara athletics director Dan Coonan said in a statement. "While the team did perform well this year, I felt that it was in the best long-term interest of the program to make a change. We will commence a national search for a replacement immediately."

Bento-Jackson, who was nearly fired after the 2005 season, went 98-84 for the Broncos with three postseason appearances.