Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey competes hard, falls to No. 10 Providence College in overtime -

February 26, 2017

Overtime goal hands UMass hockey its 15th straight loss in regular season finale -

February 26, 2017

Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous gives talk at UMass -

February 25, 2017

Anti-racism workshop teaches tactics to fight oppression in community -

February 25, 2017

Providence power play haunts UMass hockey in 6-2 loss -

February 25, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 10 Providence on Senior Night at the Mullins center -

February 25, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Marnie Dacko out as women’s basketball coach

After eight seasons at the helm of the Massachusetts women’s basketball team, coach Marnie Dacko will not return to the team next season – surprising news to both Dacko and her players.

UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon announced yesterday afternoon that her contract would not be extended after its expiration on April 10 and that a committee would be formed to begin the search for her replacement.

“We want to thank Marnie for all of her contributions to the program and the University of Massachusetts,” McCutcheon said through an official press release. “We feel there has not been the competitive progress that we have been looking for and that a change was necessary. We will be initiating a national search immediately. The announcement of the members of the consultative committee will be released shortly.”

Amongst the Minutewomen, as well as to Dacko, the decision came as a shock according to sophomore Nicole Jones. Jones, along with seniors Kim Benton and Diatiema Hill, spent time with Dacko at her house yesterday after hearing the news.

“She’s just really shocked by it, she just told us how rude [McCutcheon] was about it,” Jones said of Dacko’s response. “It was like he didn’t have a heart about it, he just cold-hearted fired her.

“We all just can’t believe it, and we’re just so disappointed and mad and upset because she was fired. We just really can’t believe it,” said Jones.

After spending a couple of hours with Dacko, Jones and the rest of the Minutewomen met with McCutcheon so he could tell them of his decision, but at that time the players had all ready heard the news.

“We had a meeting with [McCutcheon] for him to formally tell us that Marnie got fired,” Jones said of the meeting. “He basically just told us she was fired even though we all ready knew because it was on the website. The way we found out was just so wrong; he wouldn’t even let her come tell us herself. It was just wrong.”

With the decision being an unpopular one amongst the players, many of them plan to use next week’s spring break to help ease the pain and then move on from there.

“Everyone is just going to use their spring breaks to take our minds off of it and try to think about what really happened and after that we just pretty much have to really stick together and stay a team,” Jones said.

Dacko was hired in 2002 to be the head coach for the Minutewomen and has since posted a 98-135 (.421) record. In 2009-10, Dacko led UMass to an 11-19 over mark and a 5-9 record in the Atlantic 10, good for ninth place in the conference standings.

The Minutewomen reached the A-10 Tournament for the eighth time under Dacko, but for the fifth straight season and seventh time under Dacko, UMass fell in its first game of the tournament. The only victory by the Minutewomen in the A-10 Tournament under Dacko came in 2005 over Duquesne, before they fell in their second game to Xavier.

In the eight seasons with Dacko at the helm, UMass never posted an overall winning record nor did it in conference play. In 2002-03 (14-14) and 2006-07 (17-17), the Minutewomen played to a .500 record, but could not build off the success in the following year.

Jeffrey R. Larnard can be reached at jlarnard@dailycollegian.com.

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