Runge Resigns as Women's Basketball Coach
April 30, 2001
EUGENE - Jody Runge, the University of Oregon women's basketball coach, resigned her position effective Monday, April 30.
'The events of the last six weeks have led me to the conclusion that it is in the best interests of the program to resign at this time,' Runge said. 'I regret that I will not be able to coach the fine group of women who will enter our program this fall. I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to the community, and I wish the team well next season.'
Athletics Director Bill Moos thanked Runge for her efforts. 'Both the university and the athletic program agree the Jody Runge era will long be remembered for producing an unprecedented winning record,' he said. 'We greatly appreciate Jody's efforts to improve the program and women's basketball overall. She moved our program to a level that put us among the premier programs in the Pacific-10 Conference. For that, we at the university and in the community, are most grateful.'
'I have been apprised of the situation throughout this review process, and I believe this is a good resolution for the university and all involved,' said UO President Dave Frohnmayer.
Moos announced a national search for Runge's successor will begin immediately.
Runge began her coaching career at the University of Oregon in 1993. She achieved her 100th career Pac-10 victory in the home finale March 10 against Oregon State University.
Since Runge's start at the UO, the Ducks' record is 87-19 at home court, and the team was ranked for a school-record 12 straight weeks in the Associated Press poll to start the 2000-01 seasons.Before arriving in Eugene, Runge served as an assistant coach and primary recruiter at the University of Missouri from 1989 to 1993.
News Conference Quotes from UO Athletics Director Bill Moos
How was the players' reactions to the news?
'Quiet. The players have been through a lot. Any time their, or anybody's future is in limbo, it's concerning. But I assured them that the process to search and secure a new coach is a priority to me and we're going to move forward immediately in hopes of securing that in the near future.'
What was the financial settlement?
'We felt, as did Jody and her people, it is extremely fair. We felt it was in line with her contract had she continued for the duration of her present contract (two years remaining). I am not going to disclose the amount at this time. Even though we've come to an agreement, there's still some (details) that need to be finished. Our agreement is that this is the end. Of course, we're going to be taking care of Jody through our agreement, but there will be no further action.'
'This has been a long, tedious time for all of us. I really feel that after thinking about it ... that Jody just felt it was in her best interests and the best interests of the program and university to go a different direction at this time. It's important to point out that I care about Jody Runge. I care about her future.'
Did you meet with Runge after reviewing the law firm's report?
'We had initially intended to meet on Friday. That meeting was canceled. Her desire to offer her resignation came before we had any discussions.
'The accomplishments of our women's basketball program are quite impressive. I had some concerns that did not pertain to win-loss record.'
What will happen with the three assistant coaches?
'The assistant coaches are under contract, working with the team right now, contacting the recruits. In a perfect world we'd love to retain all three of them, but that usually is not the norm. They have been assured I'm looking out for their best interests. I told all three of them that they were welcome to apply (for the coaching vacancy) and that I would consider all three of them.'
On Oregon's plan of action?
'Oregon is now a destination and not a stepping stone. To Jody Runge's credit and to the community of Eugene's credit, this is a very appealing position. I would hope that we have a tremendous pool of candidates that would include quality, successful head coaches that have their own programs at this time, and I would think some quality assistant coaches as well.'
UO Players' Reactions
Senior guard Jamie Craighead:
'I'm pretty excited. I want to wish coach Runge the best of luck wherever she goes, but I think this will be very good for our program. I'm glad that it's over. It's been draining.
Senior guard Shaquala Williams:
'Everyone needs to give coach Runge tremendous credit. She put this program in a spot to where it's hopefully one of the top programs in the country and you can't take that from her. Granted she had her ways, but her ways got this program to where it was. Unfortunately, the administration and a lot of players felt like this program wants to go further and we weren't sure if she was the person to lead us there. I think we're going to be able to equal the wins and losses I just think that hopefully more of the players will come away with a better feeling of their careers at the University of Oregon.'