February 15, 2021 

Melissa McFerrin steps down as Memphis women’s basketball head coach

McFerrin, who was in her 13th season as head coach, has retired effective immediately

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Memphis head coach Melissa McFerrin via Twitter

After leading the Tigers to the third-most wins (193-199) in program history over 13 seasons, Memphis head coach Melissa McFerrin is retiring. Director of Athletics Laird Veatch announced Sunday that the retirement is effective immediately.

McFerrin had a 243-269 record over her 17-year career as a head coach. Memphis made four-straight tournament appearances under McFerrin from 2010-13 but were just 4-10 overall and 2-7 in the American Athletic Conference so far this season.

In just her second season with the Tigers, 2009-10, the team went 20-14 and reached the WBI finals. The next season saw the team improve to a 21-13 record while putting up its most wins since the 1998-99 season. Memphis got even better the next year, going 25-8 and finishing second in the Conference USA regular-season standings. The team also earned a WNIT bid that year.

In a statement released by the school, McFerrin discussed a decision between personal and professional goals.

“I have coached my entire career with personal and professional goals in alignment. But things change over time. I remained at Memphis the past two seasons to see the renovation of Elma Roane Fieldhouse completed and to coach a group of young women in which I have a tremendous belief. In arriving at the decision to retire, this time, personal reasons have won out over professional ones. It is time for a new season in my life.”

Associate head coach Michele Savage will step in to guide the team through the rest of the 2020-21 season as interim head coach. Memphis will start the search for its new permanent head coach at the end of the season. At the time of writing, the Tigers have five games remaining on their schedule.

Written by Sydney Olmstead

Pac-12 and Las Vegas Aces reporter.

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