April 2, 2014

Wichita State’s Jody Adams not interested in Minnesota job

Wichita State women’s basketball coach Jody Adams said she is not interested in the job at Minnesota, or any other open positions.

Wichita State women’s basketball coach Jody Adams said she is not interested in the job at Minnesota, or any other open positions.

She will coach WSU next season and wants people to know. On Wednesday, The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported that Adams is one of three serious candidates to coach at Minnesota. Adams worked as an assistant coach at Minnesota for three seasons.

“I want to stay and see it continue to grow,” she said. “You always want to be in the right fit. There’s something to be said about ‘Don’t mess with happy.’ ”

Adams took Wichita State to its second straight NCAA Tournament berth this season, the only two in program history. Other schools called and she was a finalist for the Arkansas job that went to former ESPN broadcaster Jimmy Dykes. Adams’ desire to stay at WSU, when attractive jobs are open, is gratifying to WSU’s administration. WSU’s position in the world of women’s basketball wasn’t strong until recently.

“That’s a tribute that we have developed a vision that matches our coach’s expectations,” athletic director Eric Sexton said.

Adams is 118-78 in six seasons at WSU with two Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles. WSU had not won a conference title or conference tournament until Adams’ arrival. Before coming to WSU, she coached Murray State to the 2008 NCAA Tournament in her first job as head coach. She is paid a base salary of $175,000 on a five-year rollover contract.

“We want to win in the NCAA Tournament,” Adams said. “There’s still that part that’s not complete, and that drives me and my staff.”

“We know people are going to look at our coaches, because we have one of the best coaching staffs in the nation,” senior associate athletics director Becky Endicott said. “It’s no different than what we deal with with (volleyball coach) Chris Lamb, (men’s basketball) coach Gregg Marshall or (track and field) coach Steve Rainbolt. It is a compliment.”

Minnesota fired coach Pam Borton on March 29 after 12 seasons. Borton went 236-152, last making the NCAA Tournament in 2009. Adams was an assistant at Minnesota from 1997-2000 under Cheryl Littlejohn. Returning to the Big Ten isn’t attractive for Adams, but Endicott knows there will likely be other opportunities for a successful coach who played for Pat Summitt at Tennessee. Adams, a Tennessee native, has also coached at Wake Forest, Auburn, Southern Illinois and UMKC.

“We pride ourselves on the fact we don’t ever think we’re going to lose coaches unless it’s their dream job,” Endicott said. “We think we’ve got a pretty good pulse on what each one of our coach’s dream jobs are. In Jody’s case, if anything, she would want to go back home, closer to her family. We know that.”

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