- Associated Press - Friday, April 8, 2016

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - McNeese State promoted assistant women’s basketball coach Kacie Cryer to head coach Friday, one day after Brooks Donald Williams resigned to take an assistant position at Alabama.

Athletics director Bruce Hemphill said Cryer has the work ethic and tenacity to quickly make this team her own.

“Kacie is known as a rising star among assistant coaches across the U.S. and she has a passion for women’s collegiate athletics,” Hemphill said in a statement announcing her promotion. “She has the unique perspective of both a collegiate student-athlete and a Division I assistant coach. She is an excellent recruiter and was instrumental in bringing in all of next year’s team, including this fall’s incoming freshman class to McNeese.”

Cryer worked seven years under Donald Williams, who resigned Thursday after nine seasons. Her 161-130 record made her the all-time winningest women’s basketball coach in school history.

Donald Williams took the Cowgirls from anonymity to respectability, leading the program from a 10-21 record in her first year (2007-08) to the first postseason in its history when it reached the NCAA Tournament in 2011. McNeese has played beyond the regular season every year since.



Donald Williams said it will be difficult to leave a program that she’s spent the last nine years building. “It’s been a great ride and I’m thankful for the Lake Charles community and their continued support. I believe there’s still really good things ahead for Cowgirl basketball.”

McNeese will hold an introductory press conference for Cryer Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Endzone Club at the Jack Doland Fieldhouse.

“I am honored, blessed and excited to have this chance to continue the success of this established program that I have been associated with for seven years,” Cryer said. “Coach Williams has done a tremendous job at McNeese and I plan on continuing the success she has already put in place. I will work extremely hard to get this program to a higher level.”

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This story has been corrected to fix Donald Williams’ overall record.

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