Cincinnati hired former Memphis coach Katrina Merriweather as its new women's basketball coach Saturday.
Merriweather, who starred for the Bearcats from 1997-01, helped the team reach four consecutive postseason tournaments in her time at the school.
Merriweather resigned as Memphis' coach on Friday, a day after the team was knocked out of the WNIT tournament. After the game, one of her players punched a Bowling Green player in the handshake line and was charged with assault, according to the Falcons’ athletic department.
“I’m elated to come back to the University of Cincinnati as the head coach of the women’s basketball program,” she said. “My time as a student-athlete and as a Bearcat were some of the greatest years of my life, and I’m excited to give back with everything I have to our current players like so many did for me. This is home for me, and I’m honored to wear the C-Paw once again.”
Merriweather took over a four-win Memphis team and immediately produced 16 wins in the 2021-22 season before a 22-victory season in which the Tigers clinched the two seed in the American Athletic Conference championship. In her two seasons, the Tigers went 28-23.
Cincinnati director of athletics John Cunningham said Merriweather's “track record of success at both Wright State and Memphis speaks for itself. She’s been an outstanding recruiter, program builder and developer of talent.”
Cincinnati moves from the AAC to the Big 12 on July 1.
"As an alumna of Cincinnati and one of the winningest players in school history, she knows the potential this program has and understands what it will take for us to compete at the top of the Big 12. She’s the perfect fit and I’m thrilled to welcome her back to the program.”
Prior to coaching at Memphis, Merriweather spent five seasons as the head coach at Wright State. There, she took the Raiders to two NCAA Tournaments, got them their first NCAA win in 2021 over four-seed Arkansas and was named Horizon League Coach of the Year three times.
Cincinnati will hold a formal news conference to introduce Merriweather on Tuesday.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25