New Mexico women’s basketball head coach retires
ALBUQUERQUE Don Flanagan, the most successful coach in the history of the New Mexi pandora charms uk co women’s basketball program, announced his retirement Monday.
Flanagan will leave the Lobos having claimed every school coaching record. Over 16 seasons, he compiled a 340 168 record, his teams made NCAA tournament appearances eight times and the Lobos won a handful of Mountain West Conference championships.
“I was fortunate for the last 16 years to coach so many outstanding student athletes,” he said in a statement released by the university. “I appreciate their contribution and all of the fans’ support that we received. To represent the university and the state of New Mexico was a great pleasure.”
Flanagan did not immediately return a phone message left by The Associated Press seeking comment.
The university said a national search for Flanagan’s successor would begin immediately. Associate head coach Yvonne Sanchez will take over as interim coach.
The 67 year old Flanagan had one year left on a four year contract extension. The Albuquerque Journal reported Monday that Flanagan made the decision to retire after five freshman players informed him of their intentions to quit the team during a meeting last week.
Flanagan told the newspaper he was gearing up for next season but that changed when players started leaving. He said it wasn’t fair to the program for him to stay and recruit multiple players with just one year left on hi pandora charms uk s contract.
Flanagan is synonymous with Lobo women’s basketball, New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs said.
“Don turned this program around, and not only made the Lobos contenders, but he impacted the lives of so many young women,” Krebs said. “What he was able to do with his team on the court and in the classroom from the championships to the academic awards is to be commended.”
The university scheduled a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss Flanagan’s retirement.
Flanagan was hired to take over the wom pandora charms uk en’s program in April 1995 after having a successful coaching career at Albuquerque’s Eldorado High School. At the time, the Lobos had a record of 14 96 for the four previous seasons. In his first season at New Mexico, he went 14 15 and took the team to the Western Athletic Conference tournament. The Lobos went on to win 14 straight games the next season.
During the past decade, the Lobos won 20 games nine consecutive times and five MWC Tournament titles. Flanagan was also honored with a pair of coach of the year awards during the same period.
In the classroom, Flanagan’s players averaged a 3.22 grade point average and more t pandora charms uk han 100 of them earned academic all conference awards.
The Lobos finished this season 13 18, missing any postseason play. The young team lost guards Sara Halasz and Nikki Nelson just prior to the season because of knee injuries, but despite growing pains from a host of position switches, the Lobos managed to upset Wyoming to get into the MWC semifinals.