Less than 72 hours after Alvin Brooks was fired as University of Houston men's basketball head coach, the athletics department suffered another setback when Jessie Kenlaw, the UH women's basketball head coach, announced her resignation Tuesday night.
After finishing the 1997-98 season with a 9-18 record, Kenlaw resigned in order to pursue "new opportunities."
UH Athletics Director Chet Gladchuk expressed his gratitude for Kenlaw's contributions to the women's program in a prepared statement.
"Her leadership and commitment to the program and to student athletes over the past eight years is appreciated, and we wish her the best of luck." Gladchuk also stated that the search for a new women's coach will begin immediately. "The university is fully committed to a highly successful women's program."
Kenlaw was unavailable for a statement, but Scott Vallery, the sports information director for women's basketball and a friend of Kenlaw said, "I'm still a little numb about it. None of us expected for this to happen. This was a complete surprise."
Kenlaw was hired as head coach on April 2, 1990, after serving as assistant coach under previous head coach Greg Williams for three years. In her first two seasons she guided the Lady Cougars to a 44-20 record and two postseason appearances, including an NCAA tournament outing in 1992. Kenlaw was also voted 1991 National Coach of the year by the Black Coaches' Association. But, in the four years that followed, UH didn't finish with a winning record or above fourth in the Southwest Conference.
In the 1996-97 season, after joining Conference USA, UH finished with a 5-24 record, going 0-14 in conference play, both school worsts.
This season, led by second-team-all-conference forward Jennifer