West Virginia women’s basketball coach Mike Carey announced his retirement on Wednesday, marking the second opening in Big 12 women’s basketball this offseason.
Carey’s retirement comes two days after West Virginia turned down an invitation to the postseason Women’s NIT, just hours after receiving an automatic bid as a representative of the Big 12. At the time, athletic director Shane Lyons said that injuries and the potential for transfers were the reasons.
He did not mention Carey’s potential retirement.
Carey led the Mountaineers for 21 seasons, the longest tenure in the program’s history. During his tenure, the Mountaineers went to the NCAA Tournament 11 times, went to the WNIT five times and made 13 straight postseason appearances from 2007-19. While the Mountaineers never made it past the second round of the NCAA Tournament, they did reach the WNIT title game twice.
“I have had a wonderful career coaching at the high school, Division II and Power 5 levels, but I want to now take some time for myself and family, to sit back, breathe and enjoy what has been a long and fun career,” Carey said in a West Virginia press release.
Carey is the all-time winningest coach in WVU women’s basketball history with a 447-239 record and has an overall record of 735-341.
Carey earned both Big East and Big 12 Coach of the Year honors at various times and led the Mountaineers to a school-record 30 wins in 2014. The Mountaineers are one of two teams to beat Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament title game since 2011, with the Mountaineers beating the Bears in 2017. Texas just beat Baylor on Sunday to win this year’s tournament.
“Mike and I have had several discussions prior to this season about continuing to lead our program in the future, and each time he wanted to wait and be patient to make sure that was what he wanted to do, so I know he has been thinking about this for quite some time,” Lyons said.
This is the second coaching change in Big 12 women’s basketball. Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell and the Cowboys mutually parted ways last week.
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