Tennessee and Lady Vols head coach Holly Warlick have parted ways according to a report from Jeff Goodman of WatchStadium on Wednesday afternoon.
The Holly Warlick era of Lady Vols basketball comes to an end following seven seasons. During her time as head coach, Warlick produced an overall record of 172-67 (.720) and 78-34 (.696) in conference play. She reached the NCAA Tournament in each season, keeping the Lady Vols’ postseason streak alive.
Warlick replaced Pat Summitt in 2012-13 following Summitt’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in August of 2011. Warlick led the Lady Vols to an SEC regular season title in her first season as head coach and helped the team reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
The 2012-13 regular season SEC championship would be the first of two she would win as the head coach of the Lady Vols. In 2014-15, Warlick guided the Lady Vols to a record of 30-6 and 15-1 in conference play – her best year as head coach. That season, Tennessee advanced to the Elite Eight under Warlick for the second time in three years.
In addition to her two regular season championships, the Lady Vols won the 2014 SEC Tournament – Warlick’s lone SEC Tournament title.
During Warlick’s seven NCAA Tournament appearances, Tennessee advanced to the Elite Eight on three different occasions and the Sweet 16 once. In her final three seasons, the Lady Vols didn’t make it past the opening weekend, losing in the second round twice.
Warlick’s firing follows possibly the worst season in program history.
The Lady Vols went 19-13 this season, 7-9 in conference play and finished tied for eighth in the SEC after being predicted to finish third by the media and fourth by the coaches. Tennessee’s 89-77 loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday marked just the second time in the history of the tournament in which the Lady Vols lost in the opening round.
This past season marked the first time in school history the Lady Vols failed to be at least .500 in conference play, and it marked the first time since Pat Summitt’s second season as head coach in 1975-76 that they failed to win at least 20 games in a season. The 11-seed the Lady Vols earned in the NCAA Tournament was the worst seeding in school history. This season also saw a Vanderbilt team that finished 2-14 in SEC play earn the program’s first ever win Knoxville when they defeated the Lady Vols in the second-to-last game of the regular season.
Prior to her coaching career, Warlick was a three-time All-American point guard for the Lady Vols who set several school records. Upon finishing her playing career, she was the first player in program history to have her jersey retired. Warlick also played on the 1980 US Olympic basketball team and was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.
Warlick served as an assistant coach for Virginia Tech and Nebraska following her playing career from 1981 to 1985. She then returned to Tennessee where she served as an assistant coach under Summitt from 1985 to 2012 before taking over as head coach.
Before playing at Tennessee, Warlick grew up in Knoxville and played basketball at Bearden High School.