The University of Tennessee has confirmed it is parting ways with women’s basketball head coach Holly Warlick.
A news release from the athletics department says Warlick was relieved of her duties on Wednesday.
“Holly and I met this afternoon, and I informed her of the decision to change leadership within the program,” Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer said. “While it certainly stings to make this decision, I am charged with doing what I believe is best for this storied program. It’s important to all of us that Lady Vols basketball maintains its status among the elite.”
A national search for the next coach is underway. Assistant coach Dean Lockwood will oversee the program until the new head coach is hired.
UT’s interim president Randy Boyd tweeted about Warlick late Wednesdy night, thanking her “for giving most of her life to UT, (the) Lady Vols and women’s basketball.”
Join me in thanking the ultimate Lady Vol Holly Warlick for giving most of her life to UT, @LadyVol_Hoops and women’s basketball. I’ve known Holly since our high school track days, but she always ran faster than me! Wishing the best for you in the future. Thank you, coach! pic.twitter.com/CbVAywq6T4— Interim President Randy Boyd (@UT_President) March 28, 2019
Warlick was named head coach in 2012 following the retirement of Pat Summitt due to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Her record since then has been 172-67, but the team has not made it past the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament and lost in the first round this year for only the second time. The team was only narrowly included in the tournament, which would have been the first time.
The Lady Vols finished 19-13 this year, the team’s worst season in the NCAA tournament era.
Rumors have swirled about Warlick’s status with the team since the NCAA Tournament loss.
Warlick was under contract with Tennessee through 2022 following a contract extension that occurred in August. This will be the first coaching search in this history of Lady Vol basketball.