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WSU dismisses Jody Adams-Birch

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Wichita State Athletic Department has mutually agreed to part ways with women’s basketball head coach Jody Adams-Birch. She will be replaced for the rest of the season by Linda Hargrove.

Adams-Birch missed the team’s last two games on Friday and Sunday.

“I would like to thank Coach Kirk Crawford for his leadership during the weekend, and for his willingness to serve as head coach for the last two games,” athletic director Darron Boatright said.

Athletic Director Darron Boatright and new WSU women’s basketball coach Linda Hargrove (Photo by the Wichita State Sports Information Department)

Athletic Director Darron Boatright and new WSU women’s basketball coach Linda Hargrove (Photo by the Wichita State Sports Information Department)

She has been under investigation by the athletic department since four players transferred following the 2015 season. Boatright said the program is under review.

This was Adams-Birch’s ninth season with the team. Following the 2015 investigation, she said on as the coach but Boatright was not the athletic director at the time.

The 66-year-old Hargrove was previously the Shockers head coach. She coached the team from 1989 through 1998.

Crawford, along with assistant coaches Bridgette Gordon and Kaci Bailey will remain on the staff under Hargrove. A national coaching search will begin soon, according to Boatright.

Players went to Boatright to inform him of Birch-Adams culture on Tuesday. Ellie Lehne started the meeting prior to announcing she would transfer to a Division II school.

The players boycotted practice the same day. Lehne was the second player, who left the program since Dec. when soph. Jyar Francis left to transfer to a school near her home in Louisiana.

Birch-Adams was 163-115 in her coaching career at Wichita State. She was 8-10 when she was let go this season and went 8-22 during the 2015-16 season.

Prior to the below .500 seasons, she had six straight winning seasons, including three straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2012-13 through 2014-15.

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