Basketball Coach Fired

Tanya Haave was fired after four dissapointing seasons as head coach of the Women’s basketball team. Haave finished with a 36-86 overall record. Photo Courtesy of the USF Athletics Department

Tanya Haave will not return next season as the Women’s Basketball coach for the University of San Francisco. USF Athletic Director Debra Gore-Mann made the announcement on Thursday March 25. The Women’s Basketball program and Gore-Mann will begin a national search for a new coach immediately, in hopes of resurrecting the past success of the program.

In her four years coaching the Dons, Haave had an overall record of 36-86, which included a 12-44 record in the West Coast Conference. During her tenure, the Women’s basketball team finished in seventh place for four consecutive years. This past season, the Dons posted a 5-27 record overall and 1-13 record in conference play.

“We have already begun our search for a new head coach.  We have posted the job opportunity on both USFjobs.com and with the NCAA.org,” Gore-Mann said. “We hope to be completed with our interview process by no later than the end of April and be able to announce the new coach by then.”

Gore-Mann said she made the decision because felt that she needed to make a change in the Women’s Basketball program. “I believed it was time for the women’s basketball program to move in a new direction to become more competitive in the West Coast Conference and nationally” said Gore-Mann.

But it’s not just skills on the court that the athletic department is seeking. “I am actively looking for a coach who reflects the mission and values of USF and who can teach young women to excel in the classroom, on the basketball court and in the community,” said Gore-Mann. The athletic-department at USF places a strong emphasis on developing student-athletes that are well rounded outside the playing field, so it is no shock that Gore-Mann values these traits in coaches.

Last season, the Dons never seemed to gel and click under Coach Haave. Haave’s style didn’t seem to work well with her team. This past season turned sour after USF started out 2-1, when USF lost eight of their next ten games. During that stretch of the season the Dons lost by double digits seven times including a season high 55-point loss to Tennessee. The losses started to accumulate and the Dons went on a 17 game losing streak, which was the low point of the season. The Dons scored 50 or more points in only eight games during the losing streak, while losing 11 games by double digits. The team never seemed to click and struggled in all areas, especially scoring. USF was able to finally snap its losing streak with a win over Bay-Area rival Santa Clara.

In this next season the Women’s basketball team will have four seniors and four juniors, which bodes well for their chances of having a successful season.

Despite the team’s struggles last season, Gore-Mann feels that USF does not need a long rebuilding process. “Our current student-athletes are young, talented and gained a lot of valuable playing and learning experiences in this [past] season.  With the right leadership, I am hopeful that this team can make improvements quickly.  I really believe in the young women we have in our program right now and they have a bright future ahead of them,” said Gore-Mann.

The next head coach for the Lady Dons will hope to return the team to the glory days of the mid 90s. From the 1995-1997 seasons, the Dons won three straight West Coast Conference titles, also appearing in the Women’s NCAA tournament in each of those seasons. The high point of the Women’s Basketball program was a Sweet Sixteen appearance during the 1996 NCAA tournament. The program also produced a Women’s NIT tournament appearance in 2002. Since then the Women’s team has failed to appear in either tournament and has not won the West Coast Conference since 1997.

Gore- Mann knows that it will take efforts from everyone to improve the program. She said, “Success is achieved through the collective efforts of the coaches, the student-athletes and our administration.  A good coach is only one piece of the puzzle.”


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