22 Apr

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OVER AND OUT – GAIL GOESTENKORS

Texas Women's Basketball, Gail GoestenkorsWhen Coach Gail Goestenkors earned her 100th coaching victory Feb. 25 — one day before her 49th birthday — celebrating was far from her mind. It was late February in a difficult season and, birthday or not, she would spend the following day scouting Texas’ next opponent.

“The only thing I’m concerned about is Missouri, period,” she said.

The sense of urgency shadowed both the coach and the state of her program. Having washed out of this year’s Big 12 tournament after one game — a disheartening, 23-point loss to lower-seeded Texas Tech March 7 — Goestenkors and her players found hope when they made their fifth straight NCAA tournament. The team lost to West Virginia 68-55 in the first round of the tournament.

Goestenkors led Texas into the NCAAs each season, but Texas advanced past the first round only once under her. After the team’s 2012 season came to an end, Goestenkors announced her resignation March 19. “I’m tired and it’s not fair to this program, to the university, and most importantly I don’t think it’s fair to the kids to have a coach that’s tired,” she said. “It’s time to step away and bring in new leadership to help this program go where I know it can go.” Former North Texas head coach Karen Aston accepted the challenge, becoming the fourth women’s basketball head coach in program history. Aston assisted former coach Jody Conradt for eight years.