BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Rick Stansbury has resigned after seven seasons as Western Kentucky’s head coach and cited a need to focus on his health and family.
Stansbury missed nine games at midseason with an undisclosed health issue. He was 139-89 with the Hilltoppers, with three Conference USA championship-game appearances and one East Division title. But they failed to reach the NCAA Tournament during his tenure and lost to Florida Atlantic 75-51 in this week’s C-USA quarterfinals to finish 17-16 overall after going 8-12 in league play.
The coach said in a release Saturday that he reached the decision to step down after much thought and said he felt good about what the program achieved despite not reaching “our highest goals.”
Stansbury added, “This past season has been a challenging one, and I need some time to step away from things and focus on my health and my family. This is a very difficult decision but the right one.”
WKU announced that it would conduct a national search for Stansbury’s replacement. Athletic director Todd Stewart thanked the coach for his contributions in a subsequent Zoom news conference and noted WKU’s 11 wins over Power 5 schools during his tenure.
“Even though we didn’t achieve our highest goal, it doesn’t mean that very good things did not happen because some very good things did happen,” he said. “I want to thank Rick for his dedication over the last seven years.”
Stansbury, a Kentucky native, was 293-166 as Mississippi State’s head coach from 1998-2012 ,with two Southeastern Conference Tournament titles, six NCAA Tournament berths and selection as SEC coach of the year in 2004. He spent two seasons as an assistant at Texas A&M before taking over at WKU in 2016.
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