UPDATED: Cooper-Dyke resigns as women’s basketball head coach

Tyler Heffernan | Sports Editor / Chad Graves | Assistant Sports Editor

UNC Wilmington’s Cynthia Cooper-Dyke resigned as head coach of the women’s basketball team Tuesday morning. Cooper-Dyke has led the Seahawks to two consecutive WNIT appearances since taking the position in 2010.

She will take a position at Texas Southern University in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. TSU is located in Houston where Cooper-Dyke led the Comets to four WNBA championships.

“Tuesday morning, coach Cooper-Dyke came by for a regularly scheduled meeting to talk about the program,” athletic director Jimmy Bass said. “She submitted her resignation at 9 o’clock this morning. We had contact from Texas Southern University a week ago last Wednesday asking for permission … We were contacted by the athletic director at Texas Southern last Wednesday. We granted that permission.”

During her time at UNCW, Cooper-Dyke led the Seahawks to a combined record of 44-22, and earned second place in the CAA in 2011 and fourth place in 2012. She won CAA Coach of the Year honors her first season.

Bass said the news was difficult for the players to take. “We tried to make this a life lesson for them today,” he said. “You’re going to make decisions to move on from a profession, a job, a vocation in the future. We assured them that our doors are always open (to talk).”

Associate head coach Jimmy Garrity has been named the interim head coach and the search for a more permanent replacement has begun. Garrity will be considered for the role. “We will interview Jimmy,” Bass said. “We have entrusted  him with our program for the next period of time.

“UNCW is a terrific job. The phone has been ringing, lots of texts already. We’re going to move forward quickly, but we’re going to move forward thoroughly and we’re going to find the very best candidate we possibly can to continue the progress of this program.”

Texas Southern is coming off a 5-26 season. TSU scored less than 40 total points eight times and lost by double digits on 21 occasions. Yolanda Wells-Boughton resigned as head coach, April 6. Cooper-Dyke was not available for comment.

Bass has no timetable to hire a replacement, but emphasized the importance of moving forward quickly. “The excitement she generated in this community for women’s basketball has been unparalleled,” he said, “so, our job is to maintain that excitement and keep the program going.”


-Staff writer McLeod Brown contributed to this report.