Abrahamson-Henderson resigns as Lady Bears' basketball coach
Coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, coach of the Missouri State University Lady Bears basketball team for the past five years, has resigned, effective immediately. The resignation was announced by Missouri State President Michael T. Nietzel and Director of Athletics Bill Rowe at a late afternoon news conference today (Friday).
"Coach Abe" was not at the news conference because she is attending the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Cleveland. She left Friday morning and will return after Tuesday’s championship game. She did leave a prepared statement:
"I am very grateful and blessed to have coached at Missouri State University," said Abrahamson-Henderson. "I am very proud of the six championships that we won and our three NCAA tournament appearances in those five years. During that time, I also was fortunate to coach the University’s second and fourth all-time leading scorers.
"I take great pride in the academic achievements of our team over those five years, especially in 2004-05 when we finished sixth in the nation among NCAA Division I programs.
"I am thankful that the administration gave me the opportunity to coach at this great University and I am very appreciative of the tremendous fan support we have had over the past five years."
Missouri State will begin immediately to search for a new coach. Rowe and Nietzel indicated that they hope to have a replacement named as soon as possible.
"We very much appreciate Coach Abe’s hard work the past five years," said Rowe. "She and her teams gave us some very exciting moments, including three trips to the NCAA and a WNIT championship. We are very grateful for the many accomplishments she helped us achieve. I know she has a lot of good coaching years in front of her."
In five years, Abrahamson-Henderson’s overall record was 95-61 (.609), including two regular season Missouri Valley Conference championships, three postseason MVC Tournament championships, three appearances in the NCAA Tournament and a WNIT championship.
"We respect coach Abe’s decision and wish her well in her future endeavors," said Nietzel. "I want to thank her for her service to the University and the Lady Bears program. We will do our best to find another coach who will continue the great tradition that the Lady Bears have enjoyed for the past 20 years."
Nietzel said the University will search for a coach who can be successful with all five goals by which Missouri State’s intercollegiate athletics teams are measured: 1) academic record of student-athletes, 2) athletic competitiveness and success, 3) integration into campus and University culture, 4) financial stability, and 5) compliance and integrity with respect to NCAA, conference and University rules and policies.