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Radford women’s hoops coach fired
Tajama Abraham Ngongba had a 62-85 record over five seasons with the Highlanders.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Head coach Tajama Abraham Ngongba was 62-85 during her tenure at Radford University.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
After five years of the Tajama Abraham Ngongba women’s basketball coaching administration, Radford University fired her Thursday afternoon.
She was in the fifth year of a five-year contract for $105,000 a year that the university opted not to renew, athletic director Robert Lineburg said.
“I would like to thank Coach Ngongba for her efforts in the past five seasons leading the Radford women’s basketball program,” Lineburg said. “At this time, however, I feel it is in the best interest of the program to seek new leadership.”
Radford lost 54-51 to Longwood in the semifinals of last week’s Big South Conference tournament to finish the season 16-14. That brought her career record to 62-85. The Highlanders were 9-9 in the conference for the second straight year. This year, that was good for sixth place and last season tied for fifth.
During Ngongba’s tenure, Radford finished no higher in the conference than tied for second in 2010-11 with an 11-5 record, 14-16 overall. Ngongba was chosen Big South coach of the year that season. Overall, Radford was 43-41 in regular season conference games while she was coach.
This year’s team included six seniors and two 1,000-point career scorers in De’Naria Erwin Spencer (1,346) and Wytheville’s Ashley Buckhannon (1,141). Spencer ended a troubled career at Radford after being kicked off the team prior to the tournament for an undisclosed violation of team rules. She had already been suspended seven games earlier in the season for another undisclosed violation of team rules.
Lineburg was unspecific about particular causes for Ngongba’s downfall other than to say it was “her general body of work.”
Ngongba is the all-time scoring leader at George Washington University (2,134 points) and a former professional player in the WNBA and in Europe. Her coaching career included stints as an assistant at her alma mater GW as well as VCU and Richmond. Radford was her first head coaching job at the collegiate level. She’s also coached the Senior National team for the U.S. Virgin Islands, of which she is a native.
Assistant coaches Felicia Hardy, Danielle Dawson, and Victoria Best will be paid to the end of their contract in July, Lineburg said.
A national search will ensue. The position will be advertised at once.
“We think this is a very good job that will get a lot of interest,” Lineburg said.
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