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May 15, 2012

Sytia Messer steps aside as Tech women's basketball coach

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech women’s basketball coach Sytia Messer has resigned as Golden Eagle head coach to accept the position of associate head coach for women’s basketball at Georgia Tech. Messer recently completed her third season as head coach at Tennessee Tech.

Director of Athletics Mark Wilson announced Messer’s resignation Tuesday. Wilson said a national search will get underway immediately to identify Tech’s next head coach, and thanked Messer for her contributions to the championship legacy of the program.

“We thank coach Sytia Messer for the work she has done in restoring Tennessee Tech women’s basketball to a championship-caliber program, and wish her all the best in her new position at Georgia Tech,” Wilson said.

“She has been a loyal, valued member of our department during the past three years and she is a respected colleague. I wish her all the best in her future pursuits and thank her for dedicated service to Tennessee Tech women’s basketball. She is a high quality person who works extremely hard for the university and our student-athletes.”

In her three seasons as head coach, Messer lifted the Golden Eagles to the OVC regular season championship in 2011 and back-to-back appearances in the OVC Tournament championship game. The Golden Eagles reached post-season play in each of her past two seasons, going to the WNIT in 2011 and the Women’s Basketball Invitational in 2012.

In her three seasons, the Golden Eagles compiled a 54-41 overall record including a 34-18 mark in conference play. Tech posted a 30-12 record at home in Eblen Center. She was named OVC Coach of the Year in 2011.

“First I’d like to thank President Robert Bell and Mark Wilson for the opportunity to become a head coach at Tennessee Tech University,” Messer said in a statement. “Thank you to my staff and players for your commitment to our program. I have enjoyed rebuilding the program to one that is respected on a national stage, in the state of Tennessee and the Ohio Valley Conference.   

“My staff worked tirelessly to recruit some exceptional young women and I am proud of what we have achieved together. The foundation is in place for years of continued success. Thank you to the entire Tennessee Tech University family for your continued support and encouragement.

“In the future I hope to have an opportunity to coach at a program that offers a similar tradition of excellence that made me proud to be associated with Tennessee Tech University,” Messer said.

In addition to their success on the court, Messer’s intensity could be seen reflected in the efforts of her players both in the classroom and the community. The Golden Eagles saw their combined team GPA and number of players on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll climb in addition to being visible in the community with participation in a number of events including Habitat for Humanity and the Fall Fun Fest.