Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Family concerns drove Aston decision

Charlotte 49ers athletics director Judy Rose is looking for a women’s basketball coach for the fourth time in 10 years -- and she’s not happy about it.

Rose was caught by surprise Wednesday when Karen Aston -- who led the 49ers to the semifinals of the Women’s NIT this season -- resigned without having another job immediately in place.

“This is very disappointing,” said Rose. “I got no hint of this coming at all. But when somebody says it’s for family reasons, that makes it very hard.”

Aston said she is leaving because so she can be near her elderly mother and stepfather, who live in Benton, Ark.

“There’s a point where you feel like you need to be around your family,” said Aston. “It’s difficult to get there and they can’t get here. The time comes when you have some responsibility for some things with your family. That time is near with me.”

Aston wouldn’t say where her next coaching stop will be. But one possibility would appear to be North Texas, which has a job opening and is much closer to Arkansas than Charlotte. Aston spent two seasons as an assistant with the Mean Green from 1996-98 and was an assistant at Texas and Baylor for 11 other seasons, so she’s familiar with the area.

Another reason Rose was surprised by Aston’s decision was a contract extension through 2015 Aston signed last year. The contract included a $100,000 buyout

Aston had a four-year record of 86-47, which included an Atlantic 10 championship and NCAA tournament appearance in 2009. Charlotte played in the WNIT the other three seasons, including this season’s run to the tournament’s semifinals. The 49ers’ 27 victories were a school record.

In 2007, Aston replaced Amanda Butler at Charlotte. Butler had been in the job just two years and had succeeded Katie Meier, who coached the 49ers from 2001-2005.

“The women’s basketball program is not broken at Charlotte,” said Rose, who said she hopes to have a new coach hired by May 1. “But these kids need stability.”


Anonymous said...

This is a good job, but it is nothing other than a merry go-round. No matter how hard we try to keep a great coach we lose them because there is NO support for our programs aside from a chosen few.

Tim C said...

That is so untrue. We lost coaches to Miami (ACC) and Florida (SEC). Miami gets virtually no support and Florida didn't merit a home game in the WNIT in favor of Florida Gulf Coast AND Charlotte. Those were still steps up in the eyes of the basketball world. Karen is leaving over family, not support. None of the coaches left over support, but I guess conspiracies are better than reality.

Anonymous said...

Is it really a conspiracy theory when she herself was not happy with the current situation? You really think that had nothing to do with it?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Coach Aston was frustrated with lack of support. She was also working hard to increase that support. Karen is not one to accept any current situation short of perfection, which is why she's such a good coach. She also has a strong sense of right and wrong. I think, to her, the right thing is to support her parents despite the consequences to her career. We could learn something from that. She will be missed.

Nugget said...

If this job is a merry-go-round then so is the men's job at Xavier. If anything Charlotte has become a springboard to big jobs having sent coaches to Duke, Florida, Kentucky, and Miami recently. This is precisely why we will get another good coach to come and fill this position.

Anonymous said...

Tim C - if she resigned to help care for her parents, and she takes the North Texas job, that will show that she did not resign just to care for her parents. "Family reasons" is a very good veil to hide behind.

And remember, all 3 of these coaches mentioned were successful here before leaving for other jobs. Both the soccer coaches, the last 2 golf coaches, the baseball coach and the men's hoops coach previous to the current one have all been generally successful. What else do they all have in common? They were all hired by Rose.

Just thought I'd throw that out there before all the "I hate Judy Rose, she is the stupidest person to ever walk the Earth and needs to be fired" shrieks begin.

Anonymous said...

The only important thing about this is Who will pay the buyout?
Wouldnt be surprised if she used Lutzs lawyers to put something in her contract that screws us is she leaves for "family reasons."

Anonymous said...

well yeah there is no support no offense but noone cares about women sports

Anonymous said...

The redundant problems for the athletic program other than the immediate need to return to using "UNCC" or what most all alumni demand, is the excessive distance involved with A-10 teams as opposed to the local conference next door Davidson is in.

Dr Phil the 35 year PHd of psych says it best "if it aint workin, change it".

Listen to a couple of PROs.

UNCC in the SoCon needed BADLY. Change. You'll be glad you did.

Steve said...

I am sure she is about ready to move up after her recent success. Certainly the AD should not be blamed. The coach will make more money at a bigger school. Come-on.
Good luck to our former coach.

Anonymous said...

A "bigger" school.......haha......yes, Charlotte is such a "little" school......get a clue dude.

49RFBN said...

Anon 12:00

Put the crack pipe down. We are NOT moving to a 1 bid conference all sports. One day soon the entire University, not just the athletics department, will be known as University of Charlotte. You need to reconcile yourself with that. We're getting the UNC out of Charlotte.

Good Luck Karen.


Anonymous said...

Karen Aston ran one of the finest women's programs in the country. Her player's worked harder and achieved more than any other school with similar size and definitely with similar players. The most awesome thing is that the team is filled with Charlotte and North Carolina players. Her current recruiting class is again filled with NC players. The staff did a fantastic job building a solid program around key players and role players. She is a dynamic personality and will do well in any program. You can see she really cares about her players and that usually translates into someone who has strong family bonds. I wish her well and she will be missed!