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Tyler Summitt resigns, Mickie DeMoss named interim head coach

April 8, 2016
 Tyler Summitt (left) with Mickie Demoss during practice.

Tyler Summitt (left) with Mickie Demoss during practice.

Matthew Valcho
Sports Editor | mvv002@latech.edu

 

Athletic Director Tommy McClelland held a press conference on Friday, April 8 to address concerns following Tyler Summitt’s resignation.

 

Less than 24 hours after the resignation of former women’s basketball head coach Tyler Summitt, Louisiana Tech athletics director Tommy McClelland took to the podium Friday afternoon to address the events that followed Summitt’s resignation and to announce assistant Mickie DeMoss was named interim head coach of the Lady Techsters.

 

“Allegations of a possible improper relationship were brought to our attention,” McClelland said. “We immediately began an investigation into these allegations. Prior to the conclusion of that investigation, Tyler chose to resign his position yesterday and we accepted his resignation.”

 

McClelland said the athletes on the women’s basketball team remained the top priority of the university.

 

“This is difficult for everyone involved, but especially for our women’s basketball program and the student athletes,” he said. “Their well-being comes first and foremost in everything that we do.”

 

DeMoss, a former Lady Techster and member of the inaugural team in 1974, was brought to her alma mater from the WNBA by Summitt when he took control two years ago.

 

DeMoss is currently out of the country, but McClelland said he will speak to her at length about the future of the program when she returns.

 

“If she is interested in the job, she will be a candidate,” he said.

 

A few hours after news broke of Summitt’s resignation, McClelland met with the entire Lady Techster team and those associated with the team, including assistant coaches and team managers.

 

“I told them to stay focused on daily things and what is important,” he said. “That means going about things as normal, like going to class and going to the gym.”

 

Besides his opening statements, McClelland only took questions on the future of the program and the process of beginning to find a new coach.

 

“I am not in coaching-search mode right now,” he said. “I need some breathing room. I personally have not even had the chance to sit and process what has been going on the past few days.”

 

When asked about the support for the program, McClelland paused and became emotional as he said surrounding community has shown overwhelming support.

 

“Ruston is a very unique place and Louisiana Tech is a family,” he said. “I have been inspired by the people in this community and the people connected to this community that would just say ‘Hey, we’re thinking about you.’”

 

McClelland said the women’s basketball program will remain strong throughout the transition.

 

“This is still a great program,” he said. “We are the second winningest program in women’s college basketball (history). That does not change with Summitt’s resignation. I want to attack this head on. I will not give up on the Lady Techsters.”

 

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