My two cents: UA women's job can be something of a dead end
Arizona chose to say it “parted ways” with women’s basketball coach Niya Butts last week, rather than it fired her.
Either way, coaching women’s basketball at Arizona has not been good for one’s career résumé.
Judy LeWinter, who coached the Wildcats to a 37-100 record in the 1980s, is now an assistant principal at Oro Valley’s Wilson Middle School.
Wendy Larry, who coached the UA to an 8-28 conference record from 1985-87, is now an assistant commissioner in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
June Olkowski, who coached Arizona to a 34-82 record from 1987-91, works in pharmaceutical sales in Baltimore.
Joan Bonvicini, the top women’s coach in UA history, with seven NCAA tournament appearances, is 9-20 in her seventh season at Seattle University, with an overall record of 89-126, and is in danger of losing her job.
One potential replacement for Butts might’ve been Sue Darling, who was a standout at Canyon del Oro High and later a starter (and an assistant coach) for the Wildcats.
No one in women’s basketball knows Tucson the way Darling does. She was the head coach at Pima College, as well as Amphitheater and Salpointe high schools. She also served as the head coach at Air Force.
Unfortunately, Darling’s NAU team is 6-23 this season, and she is 36-81 overall, scuttling her chances of being Arizona’s next head coach.
Coaching UA women’s hoops surely isn’t a cursed position, but if you want to make that case, you’ll get few objections.