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Kyra Elzy Let Go As Kentucky Women's Basketball Coach


Photo Credit: justwomenssports.com


As many of us had probably imagined, as of today, Kyra Elzy is officially relieved of her duties as the Kentucky women's basketball coach. This marked as the twelfth season that Elzy held a position on the Kentucky women's basketball staff. She served eight seasons as an assistant in some capacity on two different occasions from 2008-2012 and 2016-2020. It was then in November 2020 when Elzy was suddenly promoted to interim Head Coach of the Wildcats when then Head Coach, Matthew Mitchell, resigned from his coaching duties due to health reasons. Just a month later, athletic director Mitch Barnhart removed the interim title as he officially made Elzy the new Head Coach of Kentucky.


During Elzy's tenure as the Kentucky women's head coach, there has definitely has been some ups and downs but overall most would consider the negatives outweigh the positives. The big positive was when Kentucky was able to pull off the impossible when they made a run all the way to the SEC Championship Game in 2022. The lady Cats had the task to take on 29-1 South Carolina and Kentucky hit a late three point basket to take home the hardware as they defeated the eventual NCAA champions, finding some glory in a rather non-exciting regular season. This was the Kentucky women's first SEC Championship title in over forty years.



This is kind of where the wheels started to fall off in Lexington for Coach Elzy. In the last two seasons, the lady Cats have finished a combined 6-26 in SEC play. The 2022-23 season was hard for the Wildcats to get anything going because they lost their best player from the season before in Rhyne Howard who was the number one overall draft pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft. Howard was a huge factor for Elzy's success in her first two seasons with Kentucky due to he winning numerous awards including the AP All-American three times and also two times for the SEC Player of the Year award, all while averaging 20.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Without her individual stardom, who knows if Elzy would have made it this long.


There are many factors on why this decision to let Elzy go had to be made but Kentucky and Mitch Barnhart will now be on the lookout to see who will lead the Kentucky women's team starting in 2024 with the renovations to Memorial Coliseum set to be complete prior to next seasons home opener. When conducting a national search for a new Head Coach, you can't but think it helps have a brand new facility for them to walk in to.


This is what Mitch Barnhart said about the release of Kyra Elzy.


“I appreciate Kyra for her efforts at Kentucky, on and off the court, and wish her and her family the best in the future."


A respectful departure that has been spun into the school "relieving" Elzy "from her duties" rather than the harsh "firing" tone, but we all know what has happened. Kentucky just felt like they needed to move in a different direction. There's not a valid reason on why the UK women's basketball program can't be good as well. Today is the step in that direction.





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