JOHNSON CITY — After 19 seasons leading the East Tennessee State women's basketball team, Karen Kemp has decided to retire.
Dr. Richard Sander, ETSU's athletic director, announced Kemp's decision Tuesday at a news conference.
Kemp closes her tenure in Johnson City having coached the Lady Bucs to a program-best 272 career wins. Her teams advanced to postseason play during a four-year stretch, 2007-10, including three straight trips to the NCAA tournament. She was named the Atlantic Sun Conference coach of the year in 2008.
“On behalf of our program and the institution, we want to thank Coach Kemp for her efforts over these last 19 years,” Sander said. “During her tenure, our teams have enjoyed championship seasons, but now we’re excited about what the future can be for this program. We will begin the process of finding a new head coach immediately.”
Kemp said she was grateful to those that had faith in her nearly two decades ago.
"I would like to thank Dr. (Roy) Nicks and Dr. (Janice) Shelton for giving me this opportunity 19 years ago, and allowing me to lead this program," Kemp said. "I feel like ETSU has been good to me, but it’s time for me to step aside and let someone else lead this program to the heights I know they can reach."
The Lady Bucs closed this past season 8-18 overall, losing to Stetson in the quarterfinal round of the A-Sun tournament.