U of M to Search for New Women's Basketball Coach after Firing Borton

Updated: 03/29/2014 9:50 AM
Created: 03/28/2014 2:46 PM
By: KSTP Sports

Pam Borton is out as the University of Minnesota women's basketball coach after 12 seasons, Athletics Director Norwood Teague said Friday.

"I'd like to thank Pam for her dedication to the program, our student-athletes and our community as a whole," Teague said. "We wish her the best in her future endeavors."

Teague said he talked with Borton Friday morning, and she took the news well.

Borton had two years remaining on her contract. The University will pay $335,000 to buy her out.

Assistant coach Kelly Roysland was named interim women’s head basketball coach while the University begins its search for a new head coach. Roysland played for Borton and graduated in 2007.

In 12 seasons, Borton compiled a record of 236 - 152 (.608) as Gophers head coach and led the program to six NCAA tournament appearances, including a 2004 Final Four appearance and three WNIT berths.

She was unable to take the Gophers to the NCAA Tournament the past four seasons, however, settling for the WBI and WNIT.

The Gophers' latest season ended Thursday night with a loss to South Dakota State in the third round of the WNIT.

“I am grateful for my 12 seasons at the University of Minnesota. This is a great state and University, and I have enjoyed becoming a part of this community,” Borton said in a statement. “I want to thank my players and staff over the years. We’ve accomplished a lot together and they have made the experience truly special. I want to give a special thanks to our current players and staff. They are a great group and I have enjoyed coaching and working with them every day.”

Teague said he'd like the process to "move with a good pace," and that the job is a golden opportunity for prospective coaches. He has three criteria for hiring: an ability to recruit players both locally and nationally, good communication skills with college-aged athletes, and the ability to lead.

"You've got to have the 'it' factor when it comes to communicating with kids," he said. "There's a lot of talent here in Minnesota and we need to keep the best ones home."

The program already has top local talent in junior guard Rachel Banham and current high school senior Carlie Wagner. Expectations are high for next season when they wear the same jersey.

Teague said he already has a pool of coaching candidates, but isn't ruling anyone out yet.

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