After seven years as head coach of the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team, Beth Dunkenberger announced her resignation Monday afternoon.
Dunkenberger’s departure seemed inevitable, as the Hokies, with just one Atlantic Coast Conference win this year, ended the 2010-11 season falling to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 81-58, in the first round of the ACC Tournament.
Tech, for the fifth year in a row, will not be making a postseason appearance. During the five years prior to Dunkenberger’s reign, the Hokies visited the NCAA Tournament three times and the National Invitation Tournament twice. Dunkenberger continued this postseason success during her first three years, however since then Tech has disappointed.
In her seven years as head coach, Dunkenberger has compiled an overall record of 110-104. Since the 2007-2008 season, Tech has tallied just nine ACC wins.
After ending the regular season with an overtime loss to Virginia, Dunkenberger was asked about her future at Tech. However, Dunkenberger did not directly answer the question.
Dunkenberger worked under former Tech head coach Carol Alfano from 1988 to 1997, helping lead the Hokies to the 1994 and 1995 NCAA Tournaments. Before returning to Blacksburg, Dunkenberger served as head coach at Western Carolina from 2000-2004. During the 2002-2003 season, Dunkenberger was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year, leading the Wildcats to an overall record of 21-7.
Before the start of the season, junior guard Shanel Harrison expressed her belief in this year’s squad.
“We expect to be a top-four team in the ACC,” Harrison said.
Nonetheless, the Hokies did not meet preseason expectations, coming in at dead last in the ACC rankings.
Having accomplished so much at Western Carolina and during her first several years coaching the Hokies, it’s unclear what went wrong with Dunkenberger’s program.
Nonetheless, it is apparent that significant changes must be made in order for Tech to be competitive in the ACC.
According to the Virginia Tech Athletics Department, the search for Dunkenberger’s replacement will begin without delay.
Jim Weaver, director of athletics, issued a brief statement Monday afternoon.
“I accepted coach Dunkenberger’s letter of resignation today,” Weaver said. “We appreciate all the hard work Beth has put into her position and wish her the best in the future.”