Former Western Kentucky women’s basketball coach Mary Taylor Cowles made her first public comments this morning since her firing Thursday after 10 seasons in charge of the Lady Toppers, providing a statement to the Daily News.
Here is Cowles’ full statement. It also includes a list of her achievements during her tenure:
“On behalf of myself and my family, I want to say Thank You for the 21 years of experiences I have had while being a player (4 years), assistant coach (3 years), associate head coach (4 years), and head coach (10 years) of the WKU Lady Topper Basketball Program. It has been an incredible journey. The tremendous student-athletes, encouraging loyal fans and the friendships I have made are all a testimony to the storied program of Lady Topper Basketball. I am a proud graduate with two degrees from WKU and have always appreciated the wonderful faculty and staff of the university. A heartfelt Thank You goes out to each and every person that I have encountered along the way.
“Three things I am extremely proud of as the head coach of Lady Topper Basketball are : 1). graduating 100% of the student/athletes that have completed their eligibility during my tenure as head coach, 2). starting the endowed women’s basketball scholarship program that is now underway and currently at 9 fully endowed scholarships and 3). having 6 former players and 7 former assistant coaches/graduate assistants who are currently coaching or have coached at a women’s basketball program at the Division 1 level throughout the country. I am extremely thankful for all of the opportunities that WKU and the Lady Topper Basketball program have provided to me. Once a HILLTOPPER, ALWAYS a HILLTOPPER!!!”
Cowles is currently ranked as the 39th winningest NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball coach (NCAA records thru 2010-11). She has been named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year three times. Her teams have won five Sun Belt East Division Championships and played in five Sun Belt Tournament Championship games. She has had 21 all Sun Belt selections, 12 all Sun Belt Tournament picks, three Sun Belt Players of the Year, three Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and one WBCA/Kodak All-American. Cowles’ teams have played in the post season 7 times during her 10 year tenure as head coach, 2 NCAA tournament appearances and 5 NIT appearances. She has been a part of 450 Lady Topper victories as a player, assistant coach or head coach and over that same period of time has been part of 10 of WKU’s trips to the NCAA tournament. In 10 years as the WKU Lady Topper Head Coach, Cowles’ record was 199 wins and 119 losses, winning 62.58% of her games.