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College basketball

Winningest college coach retires at Ill. Central

By Associated Press
Published April 2, 2003

EAST PEORIA, Ill. - Lorene Ramsey of Illinois Central retired after winning more games than any women's basketball coach at any college level.

Her retirement follows her fifth national championship at Illinois Central. The 66-year-old Ramsey had a career record of 887-197 in 33 seasons, and was the school's only coach.

She announced her retirement Monday but said she made the decision last summer.

"The time has come for me to do some things I've had on the back burner, and some haven't even made the stove yet," she said.

Last month, her Cougars again won the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II title, which Ramsey called "the most wonderful present any coach could ask for."

A five-time national coach of the year, she was part of the second class inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., in 2000. The school hopes to name her successor next month.

Division I coaches Pat Summitt and Jody Conradt both passed 800 victories this season.

ARKANSAS: Athletic director Bev Lewis started background checks on candidates to replace former coach Gary Blair, who left his post Monday to take the same job at Texas A&M University.

Blair, who coached the Razorbacks for 10 seasons, had one year left on his contract and had talked about extending it for another three years. But Lewis said she felt it was not in the best interest of the university to offer an extension.

"We want to find a coach to take it to the next level, to get into the top half of the (Southeastern) conference, to the Sweet 16 or higher," Lewis said.

[Last modified April 2, 2003, 02:03:29]

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