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Texas Legend Conradt Retires From Women’s Basketball
HOUSTON – University of Texas women’s basketball coach, Jody Conradt, the second-winningest coach in college basketball history, has retired.
Conradt, who earned her 900th career victory a week ago in Oklahoma City, announced her retirement after the NCAA women’s basketball tournament brackets were released.
The Longhorns, who finished the season at 18-14, failed to make the tournament for the second straight year. It was only the third time the Longhorns had failed to qualify.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball member, who has coached at Texas since 1976, gathered her team in the locker room before the NCAA bracket was announced to tell them about her decision to leave.
“What she’s done for the game of basketball is so important. She’s a legend, a pioneer,” Texas senior post Tiffany Jackson said. “I don’t think that anyone saw it coming.”
Chris Plonsky, the Longhorns women’s athletic director, said that the search for Conradt’s successor would start immediately; however, an official hire is unlikely to occur until after the women’s national championship game.
Noted as one of the greatest coaches in the history of women’s basketball, Conradt has had 38 illustrious seasons. She leaves the sport much better than she found it.
When she started coaching at Texas in 1976, she accepted a salary of $19,000. She stepped away from a postion that paid her $540,500, which is not even the highest-paid coaching salary in the business.
During the past three decades, she built Texas into a premier program , and she did so with elegance and play that is to this day unmatched.
It wasn’t about the money, it was about the shaping and molding of the Longhorns program into a giant that would be the lead for others to follow.
Conradt has a legacy that can’t be matched. She won a national title in 1986 with a 34-0 record, making Texas the first women’s program to go undefeated.
Her teams earned spots in three Final Fours and they also made the Elite Eight five times. She was the first coach to reach 700 victories, with the only coach ahead of her in the win column is Tennessee’s Pat Summit.
Since 1976, 99% of her players have earned their degrees.
All of women’s sports will miss this 65-year old icon, who has definitely left her mark on women’s collegiate basketball.