WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Where there is smoke, there is typically fire and one has been burning since the end of the women's basketball season at UNCW.
The fire was extinguished on Tuesday.
Director of Athletics Jimmy Bass announced that head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke resigned her post to become the next head coach at Texas Southern University. At TSU, Cooper-Dyke will be reunited with Athletic Director Charles McClelland, who hired her in 2006 when he was the AD at Prairie View A&M.
TSU, which plays in the Southwest Athletic Conference, finished the 2011-12 season with a 5-26 record under coach Yolanda Wells-Broughton, who resigned on April 6.
In Cooper-Dyke's two seasons at UNCW, the women's basketball teams went 44-22, advancing to the WNIT twice. The post-season appearances and back-to-back 20-plus win seasons were program firsts.
She was also named the Colonial Athletic Association's Coach of the Year in her freshman campaign after her team finished with a school-record 24 wins and a tie for second place in the league standings. Shortly after being named head coach, Cooper-Dyke, an Olympic gold medalist, was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
With that sort of success, other programs started taking notice, even those that don't seem to be on the same level as UNCW.
"We appreciate everything Cynthia has done for the program and wish her the very best as she returns home," Bass stated in a news release. "She coached our teams to over 40 wins in two seasons and a pair of post-season berths. I'm sure she will continue that legacy of success in Houston."
Associate head coach Jimmy Garrity was named interim head coach and a national search for Cooper-Dyke's permanent replacement will begin immediately. Bass told WECT.com that he does have a short list of candidates already compiled.