Kent State will have a new women’s basketball coach next season.
Women’s basketball coach Danny O’Banion will not have her contract renewed, the school announced Friday.
O’Banion just finished her fourth season at KSU. Her teams went 21-98 and never won more than seven games. She had been in the last year of a four-year contract.
O’Banion was hired in April 2012 to succeed longtime coach Bob Lindsay, whose contract also wasn’t renewed by Nielsen.
She went 3-27 in her first season with inherited players, two junior college transfers and a late freshman recruit.
Her team had its best record in 2013-14 when they finished 7-23 and 4-14 in the MAC, which tied Ohio and Miami for fourth (and last) in the MAC East.
While the teams improved in the last two years, their records did not. Kent State was 5-25 in 2014-15 and 6-23 this season.
Just before last season, it was announced that O’Banion had Stage II lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph glands. She coached the entire season while undergoing chemotherapy and said last spring that her cancer was in remission.
It was announced in February that she would receive the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award for women’s basketball for “extraordinary courage in the face of adversity.” (Summit was the legendary Tennessee women’s coach who developed Alzheimer’s disease at the peak of her career.)
O’Banion leaves a team that returns in its entirety next season, barring transfers. It includes all-MAC honorable mention selection Jordan Korinek, the team’s leading scorer, and three-year starter Larissa Lurken.
The team has one incoming freshman recruit, shooting guard Ali Poole, a 5-11 second-team all-state player from Carrollton High School. Zenobia Bess, a 6-1 transfer from Illinois State, becomes eligible next season, and freshman Megan Carter, a top recruit this year whose season ended in November with a knee injury, returns.