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Courtesy of Lady Swish:

Summitt and Larry have been professional peers for decades, but Larry said they really became friends after the 1997 Final Four.

“The respect factor changed after that Final Four,” she said.

Larry’s Lady Monarchs fell to the Lady Vols in the NCAA title game that year; during the regular season ODU beat Tennessee — the first and only win for the Lady Monarchs over the Lady Vols under Larry.

Larry said she and Summitt would regularly dine after the teams played in the annual series. Still Larry made no secret over the years that orange wasn’t exactly a favorite color of hers. Nonetheless, that didn’t stop Larry from wearing orange and only orange to a ceremony in Knoxville honoring Summitt after she reached 1,000 coaching victories.

“I left all the tags on,” Larry said.

Beth and Debbie podcast on coach Summitt.

Doc Rivers: Pat Summitt Is ‘Responsible For Women’s Basketball’ (VIDEO)

Chamique Holdsclaw pays tribute to Tennessee coach Pat Summitt

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and puts it together on her blog: Coach, interrupted (for now)

For a while in the spring and summer, Larry and Debbie Ryan would call to check up on each other in this strange new life after college coaching. Neither appreciated their exit from their respective schools. Both were reeling a bit personally.

Larry and Ryan, who was essentially forced to resign after 34 seasons at Virginia, had some battles on the court and for recruits during their long careers in the state. But they’d remained friends, and this past year felt even closer with the career changes both were experiencing.

They each had a foot in the pioneering past of women’s college basketball, when salaries were low, perks were few, and times were tougher yet simpler. Isn’t retrospect usually like that?

 

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lands in Virginia Beach.

From Mechelle: Past success lurks in ODU’s shadows

Not so long ago, longtime Old Dominion athletic administrator Debbie White stepped into an elevator while on a trip in California.

“I was wearing a shirt with our logo on it, and a man glanced over at it and said, ‘Great women’s basketball,'” White said. “People still associate us with that.”

By the way, I’m supposed to be near a beach this weekend. I have no idea how the internets will work there so, if nothing appears, imagine me partaking of frozen beverages of some sort and smile.

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of the week that found this blog: “towel on shoulder woman”

Ah, Wendy Larry, we’ll miss seeing you this season…

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They filled the ODU post: Karen Barefoot Named Old Dominion Women’s Basketball Coach

Former Lady Monarch assistant coach Karen Barefoot, who last season led Elon to its first ever Division I postseason appearance, has been named Old Dominion’s new head women’s basketball coach, Director of Athletics Dr. Wood Selig announced Wednesday.

The Daily Press’ David Teel writes: Barefoot inherits declining program with rich tradition, grand expectations

Old Dominion once ranked among the nation’s elite women’s basketball programs. Recently, the Lady Monarchs haven’t even been the premier team in Hampton Roads.

That precipitous decline explains, in large measure, Karen Barefoot’s hiring Wednesday as ODU’s head coach.

It explains not only why athletic director Wood Selig declined to extend former coach Wendy Larry’s contract, but also why he was unable to land a more renowned, accomplished successor.

If I could get LadySwish to load, I’m sure I’d read some cool stuff about the hire… but, dabnabbit it won’t!

Tim Woods is pleased they didn’t go the Nancy route: ODU needs fresh start more than Nancy Lieberman

Sure, it would be a challenge, and great achievers thrive on them. Still, I wondered, why would Lieberman want to do all the necessary dirty work of college coaching at this stage, especially in the CAA, where there’s no budget or room for figureheads?

The reality of college basketball is much less about the 15 minutes of splash she and ODU would have reaped than the wearying slog of a long season in close quarters with a dozen divergent personalities.

She is 52 and lives in Dallas with her teenage son and a charitable foundation, but Lieberman also has always been an itinerant sports celebrity, an outsized personality chasing the spotlight and comfortable there.

Besides, do you really think Lieberman wants to leave the D-League where ‘‘You don’t have 10 guys ovulating in the same locker room and an emotional wreck’?’

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from Lady Swish (who knows a ton). Did a great job gathering reaction to Coach Larry’s resignation.

“I honestly didn’t see this coming at all. I guess the best way to describe it is that I was shocked. … For her to resign — it seems like something she wouldn’t do. … I know there were rumors, there was stuff about her contract. … I just feel like, where’s the loyalty? I know the program hasn’t been doing great for the last couple of years, but she has done so much for the program. If she didn’t leave on her own terms, it would be sad. She’s an amazing coach and an amazing person, and it’s a very sad day for women’s basketball. – Ticha Penicheiro, to the Daily Press.

http://es.pn/mr6l6V – one of the best Wendy Larry moments, which at the time was my least favorite. – Amy Mulligan, University of Virginia media relations (link is to an ESPN story about ODU’s Final Four victory over Stanford).

LS had her own reaction: ODU had a gem in Wendy Larry

The legendary coach of the Lady Monarchs announced Tuesday that she is stepping down. She will remain at ODU, with responsibilities for assisting the Office of Institutional Advancement for athletic related fundraising projects, and alumni events, and yes, we wonder what that means.

Folks have grown restless at ODU, both inside the department, where new athletic director Wood Selig made her contract dispute public, and amid the declining fan base. The Lady Monarch faithful clamor for a return to the glory days when they made lunch meat out of the rest of the CAA. New coach or not, we don’t see those times coming back.

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From Slam Online: 12 Days, 12 Previews: Seattle Storm – Five keys to a successful season.

The WNBA’s 15th season begins June 3rd and SLAMonline is counting down the days with in-depth previews of all twelve teams.

Prior to the start of each WNBA season (and NBA season for that matter), every writer and blogger in the country compiles extensive (by “extensive” I mean “wordy,” and by “wordy” I mean “tired”) previews analyzing the upcoming year, team by team. It’s just a fact of life. Almost as certain as death and taxes.

The problem, however, is they all look, feel, and say the same exact thing every year (copy and paste). You, the reader, deserves far better. Thus, we’re going through each team discussing five specific things they’ll need for their 2011 campaign to be considered a success.

More importantly, we want this to be interactive – be sure to post your thoughts in the comment section below.

There’s a ton of other stuff there, so make sure you check it out. A highlight: The Season: Episode 2 – The Lady Wolves’ journey continues on.

Here’s part two of The Season, a six-part series that follows the Buford Lady Wolves on their quest to three-peat as Georgia 2A state champions. In this episode, the Wolves are tested by several tough opponents in the Jump Off Plus Holiday Invitational; Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt pays a visit to check on verbal commits Andraya Cater and Kaela Davis; and there’s an in-depth feature with Andraya Carter on her Olympic experience. Be sure to his insidewomensbasketball.com for other episodes The Season.

Have you read Mel recently: AP Women’s Poll History — Changes In Latitudes and Guru’s Mixed Report: Old Dominion, Delaware, Rutgers, WNBA

This is one of those rare times that WNBA commentary will mix with the collegiate world here because of wanting to save a little time.

The Guru starts with Delaware’s Tina Martin checking in on Thursday afternoon returning inquiries about her former coaching colleague in the Colonial Athletic Association — Old Dominion’s Wendy Larry, who announced Tuesday she was stepping down after a 24-year run that included 17 straight conference titles in the conference.

One of those came at the expense of Martin’s Blue Hens, who beat ODU twice during the regular season — a rarity in terms of winning in Norfolk, Va. — but then in the CAA title game blew a second-half lead and lost to the Lady Monarchs in overtime.

And there’s this from the AP’s Bob Baum (and a headline writer with a call of the alliteratives) ‘Tougher’ Taurasi back from Turkish turmoil

Late last year, while playing professional basketball in Turkey, Taurasi was told by authorities there she had tested positive for the banned stimulant modafanil. In February, the Turkish basketball federation cleared her of wrongdoing after the lab that conducted the test retracted its report.

“It toughens you up,” she said of the experience, “and life’s about going through stuff that is really hard. You can let it really wreck you and you can be mad at it, which I was for a while. But I finally got over it, had a really good group of people around me here in Phoenix, my family, my close friends, my teammates, the fans here in Phoenix. You really sometimes have to depend on those people to get you through tough times and they did. They got me through it.”

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Wendy Larry’s legacy at ODU: A fierce competitor, and a friend

Wendy Larry’s resignation on Tuesday after 24 seasons, 17 consecutive conference championships and 20 NCAA tournament appearances reverberated throughout the world of women’s college basketball.

“I was just sad. I think I sat at my desk and cried,” said Taylor, in her 12th season as William and Mary‘s head women’s coach. “I just think it’s a really sad day for women’s basketball and for Old Dominion.

“She’s a great lady. She’s been great for the game. She’s been a great mentor for the young coaches in the league.”

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Wendy Larry resigns as ODU’s women’s basketball coach

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From Mel: Staley Extended At South Carolina

And how about coaches those under the gun of expectations? Lady Swish has some great links: Boyle, Wolff discuss the challenges ahead

Sue at They’re Playing Basketball writes about Coaching transfers = different issues

Knowing how I feel about the rise in student athlete transfers, I have been asked what I think about the increased incidences – particulary this year – of coaches changing schools. It seems to be epidemic, to be sure. Maybe these things go in cycles, because athlete transfers seem to be a little down this year while coaching changes are up. But they are two different animals that warrant independent consideration.

She raises this intriguing question of loyalty.

Seems to me (as someone who’s been at the same company for 17 years and is supervising someone who’s been there just as long) loyalty is a many-edged sword. I am incredibly loyal to my employers because I have been given amazing opportunities. Who knows what might have happened elsewhere, but I am where I am, and I have tried to honor every opportunity offered. And I like to think that I have given back as much as I’ve gotten.

But what if I felt stifled or stymied? If I wasn’t growing anymore? If I needed a change? Do I not have the right, even the obligation, to move on? If my performance or attitude or professional ceiling has been hit, does not my company have the right, even obligation, to suggest I move on?

I understand the concerns about the student-athletes. Clearly it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

But women’s basketball, like much of the professional world, has changed its patterns of employment. It has raised its expectations. For many coaches and institutions (certainly, not all), growth and change is an expectation.

I guess my question is, what measure of grace, respect and honesty can the people involved bring when making those changes?

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Bobbie Kelsey, a veteran of seven Final Fours as a coach and player, named UW’s head coach

UNT to intoduce Aston tomorrow, a hiring which makes you go hmmmm, considering how and “why” she left Charlotte.

Lots of good stuff from Mel on the various openings, fillings and wobblings: Yes Virginia There Is A New Coach

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Lady Swish has somethin’ to say: ODU’s Larry deserves better from her boss

“I told her she had done nothing in the past three years that I could take to the board to get an extension,” Selig said Thursday. “It would have been D.O.A. (dead on arrival)….

How would you like to work for this guy? Has the Lady Monarch program declined in the past three years? Definitely. We can’t argue that. Do you air your coach out to dry in the media? Hell no.

We’re a media outlet that loves a candid answer — a rarity these days from anyone who gets quoted regularly. But this is a little too much candor about a personnel matter. If Selig wants Larry to go, so be it. But don’t try to humiliate her in the process.

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This time it’s Rutgers: Daisha Simmons requests transfer from women’s basketball team and Nebraska (2nd player): Kellie McCann-Smith leaving NU women’s hoops team

Might be some coaches transferring, too: ODU balks at extension for women’s basketball coach Larry and the tweets are flying: SID Melissa Dudek says Boyle is not going, sources tell Jayda she is for a $1million gig and channel 7 says she’s a Cavalier.

Kristy Curry ain’t goin’ nowhere: Terms of Curry’s new contract released

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From Lady Swish

Wendy joins 600 club; JMU, W&M(!) winners; Cavaliers crush Hokies

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lot of running and clubbing and cruising and romping and mauling and ripping and whipping and season high-ing.

DCBC watched the Tiger Taming and C&R tracked the Cardinal.

Some escaped, in spite of a serious case of fumble fingers (28 TOs!). Some escaped in OT.

Some proved they were Monty Python fans (“I’m not dead yet!”)

As for “other” teams:

Coach Stockon’s Green Wave ran their C-USA record to 4-0 with a 30-pt victory over Marshall. (Did anyone catch Tulane on TV last week? FUN team to watch!)

Wonder if they need to watch out for Houston, who’s also 4-0.

She’s baaaaaak! Drey Mingo goes double-double on Northwestern, securing a (101st for Versyp) Purdue win.

A big win for Penn State (83-62) puts them at 4-1 in the Big 10 (and yes, it’s weird that Illinois’ Penn had a double-double) (And yes, Lucas snapped Mazzante’s record of freshman threes.)

Swish! Drexel uses a last-second three to topple William & Mary 59-58.

Are the Lady Bears (Mo) becoming relevant again? They’re 5-1 in the MVC.

Don’t look now, but Army is 3-0 in Patriot League play (and have won five straight).

Marist rules the MAAC. So what’s new?

Middle Tennessee still rules the Sun Belt — but it was close against Arkansas State.

Old Dominion over Delaware. That’s #599 for Wendy Larry. (Oh, and the ODU SID peeps do a great job keeping up with their alums. Check out Former Lady Monarch’s Pen is as Mighty as Her Jump Shot and Nancy Lieberman’s Historic Debut.)

Coach Boyle is at a loss, and so are her Cal Bears.

Didja catch Coop’s UNC-Wilmington team squeeze out a win over Hofstra? (They’re now 4-1 in the CAA.)

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