Ohio State hires Kevin McGuff as women's coach

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 16, 2013
Three weeks after signing a long-term contract extension at the University of Washington, Kevin McGuff came home to become the new women's basketball coach at Ohio State. Ohio State, which announced the hiring Tuesday, didn't disclose terms of McGuff's contract. Washington said his buyout would be $1.75 million. ''This is an amazing opportunity for my family and me to come back to the state of Ohio,'' said McGuff, who spent nine seasons as the head coach at Xavier before taking the job with the Huskies. ''As someone who is from state of Ohio, I know how special of a place this is and my goal is to have Ohio State competing at the highest level.'' The 43-year-old McGuff, who won 41 games the last two seasons with the Huskies, takes over for Jim Foster who was fired last month after the Buckeyes failed to win 20 games or make the NCAA tournament for the first time in his 11-year tenure. After seasons of 20-14 and 21-12 last year, McGuff signed a contract extension with the Huskies through the 2019-20 season on March 26. A former assistant coach at Miami University and for six seasons at Notre Dame, where he was part of a national championship in 2001 under head coach Muffet McGraw, McGuff was 214-73 in his nine years at Xavier. The Hamilton, Ohio, native's Musketeers won four Atlantic 10 Conference championships, and his last two teams went 29-4 and 30-3. Xavier made it to six NCAA tournaments, but - like Foster at Ohio State - McGuff's teams never advanced to a Final Four. When Foster was fired on April 19, Miechelle Willis, the associate AD who oversees the women's program, said one of the reasons the Hall of Famer was let go was because of ''postseason production, or lack thereof.'' McGuff is 255-99 in 11 years as a head coach. ''He is a proven leader and has done a marvelous job everywhere he has been,'' Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said. ''We welcome him back to his home, Ohio.'' After signing the new extension, McGuff said, ''I look forward to continuing the process of building a nationally respected program at the University of Washington.'' His most recent Twitter posting states: ''Proud to be the head coach at the University of Washington. We have some of the most intense women's basketball fans in the country. Go Dawgs!'' He leaves behind a Washington team which includes All-Pac-12 player Jazmine Davis and Talia Walton, who was on the conference's all-freshman team. McGuff inherits an Ohio State team that, after an unprecedented string of success in the Big Ten, placed just eighth in its conference and was 1-7 this past January. The Buckeyes, 18-13 last season, graduate their top two players in Tayler Hill, taken No. 4 in the WNBA draft, and defensive specialist Amber Stokes. Foster's record at Ohio State was 279-82 over the same time period McGuff has been a head coach. The Buckeyes won a Big Ten-record six consecutive conference regular-season titles under Foster (2005-10), four Big Ten tournament championships and made it to a school-record 10 NCAA tournaments in a row until this season. Despite high seeds most years, his teams were knocked out in the first round of the tournament three times and the second round four times while making it as far as the round of 16 three times before falling. --- Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP
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