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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ladner steps down as head coach

BLOG: Ole Miss women’s basketball coach Renee Ladner has stepped down, effective today.

The Lady Rebels’ season was put to rest last night courtesy of a 67-47 loss to Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Today, Ladner made official what many thought might be coming regardless.

During her five years as head coach, the Lady Rebels amassed an overall record of 70-82.

Today’s announcement doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. About two months ago, while chatting in her office, Ladner told me something along the lines of “whoever is in this seat in two years is going to have one heck of a team.”

While many opponents were able to load their lineup with juniors and seniors, Ladner did not have that luxury this season and more often than not had two, three or even four freshmen on the court at one time or another.

Ole Miss finished this season with an overall record of 12-18.

Ladner is the third SEC women’s basketball coach to announce they were stepping away from their current institutions, joining Nell Fortner (Auburn) and Sharon Fanning-Otis (Mississippi State).

Below is Ole Miss’ official release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.Renee Ladner announced Friday that she is stepping down as head coach of the Ole Miss women’s basketball team.

“When I was named the head coach five years ago, it was a dream come true,” said Ladner. “And to have the privilege of coaching such incredible young ladies over the last several years is simply priceless.  I love Ole Miss and will support this program any way I can moving forward.”

“Renee bleeds Red and Blue, there’s just no other way to put it,” said Athletics Director Pete Boone. “Her enthusiasm and positive attitude have been an inspiration to us all, and we will miss her on the bench.”

During her time at Ole Miss as both a head coach and assistant coach, Ladner was a part of six teams that advanced to postseason play including three NCAA appearances and three WNIT appearances.

Under Ladner’s tutelage, Rebel guard Bianca Thomas became a two-time All-SEC first team selection. Ladner had at least one All-SEC pick in each of her five seasons as head coach.

She also saw her team reach the second round of the SEC Tournament three times and advance to postseason play twice.  She recorded six wins over top-25 teams.

As head coach, Renee Ladner has a career record of 70-82 overall and 23-53 in SEC play.  Her last two recruiting classes at Ole Miss were nationally ranked at 39th and 45th, respectively, and included the nation’s No. 38 player in Valencia McFarland and No. 85 Danielle McCray. McFarland has since played with USA Basketball and Team USA in the Pan Am Games and was a 2011 All-SEC pick.

As an assistant, Ladner worked directly with All-American Armintie Price who is a current member of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.  In addition, Thomas was drafted by the LA Sparks in the first round of the WNBA Draft in 2010.

Ladner, who played for the Rebels from 1978-81, earned her bachelor’s degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1981 from Ole Miss. While at Ole Miss, Ladner played basketball with former Ole Miss head coach Carol Ross and former Rebel associate head coach Peggie Gillom-Granderson.

The search committee to replace Ladner is comprised of:
•    Committee Chair: Lynnette Johnson, Executive Associate AD/Senior Women’s Administrator
•    Don Cole, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
•    Michael Thompson, Senior Associate AD, Marketing and Communications

 (March 2, 2012)

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