Gail Goestenkors announces end to on-court coaching career

Hall of Fame coach Gail Goestenkors, center, has announced her retirement from on-court coaching.
Hall of Fame coach Gail Goestenkors, center, has announced her retirement from on-court coaching.(Eddie Justice | Eddie Justice/UK Athletics)
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 7:01 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT/UK Athletics) - After an illustrious career with historic success collegiately, professionally and internationally, Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Gail Goestenkors has announced her retirement from on-court coaching and thus resigning her assistant coach position at the University of Kentucky.

Goestenkors, who is expected to remain in the Kentucky WBB program with an off-court support position, will remain in her current role until a replacement can be hired. UK head coach Kyra Elzy will begin a national search to find a third full-time assistant coach immediately.

“Coaching has been the gift of a lifetime. It’s hard to believe I’ve been coaching for over 30 years. What a fulfilling journey it’s been,” Goestenkors said. “I have been blessed to work with so many amazing people. The friendships with colleagues and the relationships with players that I’ve forged throughout the years are the gifts I hold most dear. I would like to think Mitch Barnhart, Kyra Elzy and the entire WBB program for the opportunity to come to UK and assist in coaching, mentoring and building up the incredible young women who make up this program. It has been an honor and privilege to represent UK and become a part of Big Blue Nation. I cannot wait to spend more time with my friends and family in this new phase of my career.”

Most recently in one season at Kentucky, Goestenkors helped the Wildcats claim the 2022 SEC Tournament Championship, the school’s first since 1982. Along the way, she coached one of the game’s best talents, helping Rhyne Howard be the No. 1 overall 2022 WNBA Draft pick. Goestenkors helped the UK offense set numbers the program has not seen in several years. UK’s 2021-22 assist total was the 10th most in program history, while its field-goal percentage of .431 was its highest since 2015-16. UK also had 484 assists last season, which was its most in a single season since 2013-14.

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