Mesa women’s basketball coach will resign at end of season
The women’s basketball season at Mesa State College got off to a rough start and it hasn’t gotten any better.
Head coach Timi Brown has resigned effective at the end of the season, Mesa State College Athletic Director Butch Miller said Sunday.
Brown did not return a phone call from The Daily Sentinel on Sunday evening. She and Miller will meet with players today before practice.
“I think Timi did make a professional and tough decision that it’s not working out for her or for us,” Miller said. “We’re going to move on and it’ll hopefully be the best for both of us down the road.”
Brown’s resignation comes with 10 games left in the season, beginning Tuesday night against Western State in Gunnison.
The Mavericks (4-13, 1-8 RMAC) snapped their longest losing streak since joining the NCAA Division II ranks with a 68-39 victory Friday night over New Mexico Highlands (2-15, 0-9).
During the 11-game losing streak, the Mavericks lost to Colorado Christian University for the first time in program history.
The loss of their top four scorers, including the second all-time leading scorer in school history, Brittany Fowler, left Brown with a young, inexperienced team this season and the Mavericks have struggled to compete.
Brown is 56-71 since taking over in 2004-05, but the Mavericks haven’t finished any better than third in the RMAC in her four years and have had only one winning season.
Mesa State reached the RMAC tournament the past two seasons, her most successful in her first Division II job after a successful career as a junior college head coach.
Last season, the Mavs tied for second in the West Division and were 14-14 overall, losing in the first round of the conference playoffs.
In 2006-07, Mesa finished 17-11, but lost in the first round of the RMAC tournament.
Mesa State finished her first two seasons with losing records, going 11-16 in 2004-05 and 10-17 in 2005-06.
Mesa State had only one losing season (12-14 in 1993-94, its first in Division II) since going 7-20 in 1987-88, Bud Smock’s last season as head coach.
Steve Kirkham took over in ’88-89 and won three RMAC titles in his first five seasons and seven consecutive RMAC West Division titles.
The Mavericks won 299 games in his 16 seasons and hosted the NCAA Division II North Central Regional tournament in 2001-02, winning a school-record 26 games.
“We’re proud of Mesa State basketball,” Miller said. “Coach Brown has done a great job in terms of her student-athletes with Division II and graduating and doing the right things.”
Miller is meeting with the college’s human resources department today to finalize details on the job search, which will begin immediately.
“I’m looking to do this fairly fast and find the best person for the job,” Miller said. “I don’t know if we have a timetable in line. Recruiting is delicate and we’ve got (high school) tournaments starting. We want to get one in place as soon as we can, find the right person and the right fit.”
He knows what traits he’s looking for in a coach and expects a lot of interest in the program.
“Bottom line,” Miller said, “I’m looking for new energy, somebody to come in and take the program and get us back to the top of the West.”