Womens’ Basketball Team In Search For New Coach

Billy Trice

Sports Editor

“We’ve made a decision to take the women’s basketball program in a different direction,” said Gary Gray, ESU Director of Athletics.

Head coach Diane Decker, was relieved of her duties last month when Gray informed her that the university would not be offering her another contract.

Many people thought that Decker, former Marian Catholic star and Villanova Wildcat, had solid job security with the university.

However, stepping away from the initial shock and examining Decker’s record in her four year tenure may shed light on the circumstances around her termination. 

Throughout her coaching career at ESU she was never able to reach a 20-win-season despite three seasons above .500 from 2015-2017

Decker did come close in 2016. During that season the Lady Warriors posted a solid 19-9 record and made it to the PSAC league Final Four.

Decker was only able to secure one more winning season in 2017 with a record of 16-11.

Her struggles at ESU were surprising given the fact that she had previous success coaching in the PSAC.

Decker was an assistant at Bloomsburg University for seven years and all of those teams had 20-win-seasons along with two NCAA tournament appearances.

Without a doubt, the administration believed that Decker would elevate the women’s program to elite status.

This was no easy task to ask of Decker though.

ESU women’s basketball team has not historically matched the success of their men’s counterpart, so to make the expectations comparable was unfair.

The men’s program has been dominant throughout the years notching four PSAC Championship wins, seven NCAA DII tournament appearances, and of course their first NCAA Atlantic Region Championship win just last season.  

The women’s program has only won the PSAC Championship one time (1995) and has gone to the NCAA DII tournament only twice, both in ‘94 and ‘95.

Now that Decker is gone the university is on a hunt to fill her vacancy with someone who has the determination to uplift the women’s program from its previous mediocre trends.

Email Billy at:

btrice@live.esu.edu

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