BYU women’s basketball head coach Jeff Judkins to retire

Jeff Judkins has retired from his role as head coach of the BYU women’s basketball team after 21 seasons, the university announced Thursday.

“I’ve loved my years here,” Judkins said in a press release. “The program is in a good place and it’s a good time for me.. We turned this program into a consistent winner that wins conference championships and goes to the tournament on a regular basis.. I’ve been lucky to be able to do something that I’ve loved so much for as long as I have.”

Sources say Judkins informed his players about the news in the morning before it was made public.

Judkins finishes at BYU with a record of 456-204, making him the winningest basketball coach in school history across both programs. His teams appeared in 10 NCAA Tournaments and earned a pair of Sweet 16 berths in 2002 and 2014. Before coaching at BYU, Judkins was a men’s assistant at the University of Utah — his alma mater — from 1998-99. Judkins spent a year as an assistant for the BYU women’s team before being promoted to head coach in 2001.

After playing college basketball at Utah, Judkins was drafted in the second round of the 1978 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. There, he teamed up with Larry Bird and ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich before playing with the Portland Trailblazers, Detroit Pistons, and Utah Jazz.

“Jeff Judkins has had an illustrious career in basketball,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in the same press release. “From his high school days at Highland High School, to starring at the University of Utah, to his time in the NBA and finishing off with 21 years as head coach of the BYU Women’s Basketball Team, Juddy has accomplished so much. His record of wins, championships, great players he’s mentored and great teams he’s led will long be remembered. Jeff loved his players, and they loved him.”

BYU says they will immediately begin a “national search” to replace Judkins, but current women’s assistant and former Cougar star Lee Cummard has become the early in-house favorite for the job.

For more information about Judkins’ career, see this Daily Universe profile from March.

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