Cullop leaves Evansville to take job at Toledo
04/18/08 05:20 pm by RRR | Back
CULLOP NAMED HEAD WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACH AT TOLEDO
EVANSVILLE, Ind.--Tricia Cullop, who helped the University of Evansville women's basketball program earn a share of its first Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title this past year as the 2008 Rawlings MVC Coach of the Year, has resigned to accept the head coaching position at the University of Toledo.
Cullop guided Evansville to a 21-12 overall record and a piece of the MVC regular-season championship in 2008. She led Evansville to its first post-season victory in women's basketball this past March, with a 60-58 victory over Ohio Valley Conference champion Southeast Missouri State in the 2008 Postseason WNIT. Overall, Cullop will leave UE ranked second all-time in career coaching victories with 123, while compiling a 123-110 overall record in eight years as head coach of the Purple Aces, including a 73-48 record over the last four seasons combined.
"UE will always have a special place in my heart and I'm forever thankful for the opportunity that the school gave me eight years ago to become a head coach," said Cullop. "I have truly treasured and cherished my time at Evansville and all of the friendships and relationships that I have been able to forge over the last eight years. These last eight years have been some of the best in my life, and the friendships that I have made while at UE will be with me for a lifetime.
"When things like this happen, things move so quickly, and I just wish that I had a chance to talk to and thank everyone who helped this program over the last eight years. So many people in the Evansville community have really helped this program grow over the years, and I can not thank them enough for their help and friendship during my time at Evansville. I have no doubt that the program will continue to thrive in the years to come, and I wish the players nothing but the best in the future. The players have built a program to be reckoned with for years to come, and I can not wait to follow their success both on and off of the court.
"I want to personally thank (University of Evansville President) Dr. (Stephen) Jennings and (UE Director of Athletics) John Stanley for everything they have done for both myself and this program, as they have been so very helpful and wonderful to work for. This was an extremely hard decision to make, and I am eternally grateful for everyone at both the University of Evansville and the Missouri Valley Conference for their friendship and support over the last eight years."
While at Evansville, Cullop helped develop 13 all-Missouri Valley Conference players and six 1,000-point scorers over the last eight years. She also helped grow the sport of women's basketball in the Evansville community, helping the Purple Aces establish a new single-season attendance record in six consecutive seasons, including a school-best 21,622 attendance mark this year, which ranked among the nation's Top 100 in terms of average attendance at 1,544 fans per game.
Cullop and her teams were also extremely active in the Tri-State area, helping develop the "Women's Hoops For The Cure" event and the Future Purple Aces Fast B.R.E.A.K. program, and assisting with such community events as Habitat for Humanity, the Susan G. Koman Race For The Cure, and the American Heart Walk. Her teams also compiled a cumulative team grade point average above 3.15, including ranking in the nation's Top 25 academically last year.
"Tricia has been an outstanding coach and an outstanding representative of the University of Evansville, and has given our school eight great years,"Esaid UE Director of Athletics John Stanley. "During my first year as A.D., I have found it very enjoyable to work with Tricia, as she is a very caring and motivated individual. Those traits have led to a lot of success over the years resulting in our women's basketball program being held in very high esteem in the MVC and the Midwest.
"We are going to miss Tricia, but at the same time, we wish her the best and believe that she will be an asset for Toledo as she has for us. Because of the great way she has developed our basketball program, we feel that the job will be one of interest to a number of people and hope to fill the position as soon as possible."
Evansville will begin a search for its next women's basketball coach immediately. UE will return six of its top eight scorers, and 11 players overall, from this past season's 21-12 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championship squad.