- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on the firing of New Mexico women’s basketball coach Yvonne Sanchez (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

Former New Mexico women’s basketball coach Yvonne Sanchez says she will address “in the future” if race or gender played a factor in her firing.

The veteran coach said at an emotional news conference Friday she believed male coaches may have more time to turn around struggling programs while female coaches don’t.

New Mexico Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs fired Sanchez on Friday, saying he didn’t see a trend toward a championship for the team after five seasons.

Sanchez says she found it “interesting” that some white male coaches at New Mexico have had more time and have even gotten pay raises.

Sanchez says despite her 77-81 record in five seasons as the Lobos’ head coach she felt the program was headed in the right direction.

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3 p.m.

Former New Mexico women’s basketball coach Yvonne Sanchez says she was blindsided by the university’s decision to fire her.

At an emotional news conference Friday afternoon in Albuquerque, the veteran coach said she thought she had done everything right to ensure her position with the Lobos.

A protege of the school’s most winningest coach, Don Flanagan, Sanchez joined the program in 2000. She was hired to replace the retiring Flanagan following a national search.

A native New Mexican, Sanchez had a 77-81 record in five seasons as the Lobos’ head coach.

While Sanchez said she found the way in which she was fired interesting, she declined Friday to weigh in on criticisms being leveled by the leader of civil rights group who suggested that race played a role.

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1:14 p.m.

New Mexico has fired its women’s basketball coach Yvonne Sanchez.

Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs announced the decision at a press conference Friday, saying he didn’t see a trend toward a championship for the team.

New Mexico athletics spokesman Frank Mercogliano says Sanchez was informed of the decision at a meeting Friday morning with Krebs and Janice Ruggiero, who oversees the women’s basketball program.

New Mexico (17-15) fell in the first round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational 75-67 to Weber State on Wednesday. The Lobos finished the regular season with a fifth place finish (9-9) in the Mountain West.

Sanchez had a 77-81 record in five seasons as New Mexico’s head coach.

She joined the staff in 2000.

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