BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Former Olympic and WNBA coach Van Chancellor was hired as the women's basketball coach at LSU on Wednesday, succeeding Pokey Chatman.
He intends to keep the coaching staff left behind when Chatman abruptly resigned last month just before the NCAA tournament. Chancellor singled out for mention assistant Bob Starkey, who took over the team and guided the squad to its fourth consecutive Final Four appearance.
"I wouldn't have taken this job if Bob Starkey wasn't wanting to stay here," Chancellor said at a news conference. "Why would I want to change a Final Four team four years in a row?"
Chancellor was the women's coach at Mississippi from 1978-97 before leading the WNBA Houston Comets to four straight championships (1997-00). He also coached the U.S. team to a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and has a 38-0 record in international competition.
Chatman resigned March 7 amid allegations of inappropriate conduct with a former LSU player when that player was a member of the women's basketball team. The team went on to the NCAA tournament, losing in the semifinals under Starkey, who has said several times he did not want the head coaching job.
Chancellor led Ole Miss to a 439-154 record in 19 seasons from 1978-97, with his team making 14 NCAA tournament appearances. Mississippi won the 1992 Southeastern Conference regular-season championship with an 11-0 record. That team proved to be his best, finishing 29-3 and reaching the Midwest Regional final.
Chancellor then joined the fledgling WNBA, where he coached the Comets for 10 seasons.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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