Warlick OK with staying put with Lady Vols

South Carolina names Staley coach

Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt, left, and associate head coach Holly Warlick monitor the Lady Vols' game against Purdue. 

Tennessee defeated Purdue 78-52 at Purdue University's Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. on Tuesday in the first round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The Lady Vols advance to the regionals in Oklahoma City, OK.

Photo by Saul Young

Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt, left, and associate head coach Holly Warlick monitor the Lady Vols' game against Purdue. Tennessee defeated Purdue 78-52 at Purdue University's Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. on Tuesday in the first round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The Lady Vols advance to the regionals in Oklahoma City, OK.

Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt, left, and associate head coach Holly Warlick monitor the Lady Vols' game against Purdue. 

Tennessee defeated Purdue 78-52 at Purdue University's Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. on Tuesday in the first round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The Lady Vols advance to the regionals in Oklahoma City, OK.

Photo by Saul Young // Buy this photo

Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt, left, and associate head coach Holly Warlick monitor the Lady Vols' game against Purdue. Tennessee defeated Purdue 78-52 at Purdue University's Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. on Tuesday in the first round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The Lady Vols advance to the regionals in Oklahoma City, OK.

Holly Warlick drove to work Wednesday, following the same routine she has for the past 23 years as a member of the Tennessee women’s basketball coaching staff.

“My car’s on autopilot,’’ she said jokingly.

So is the driver. Warlick will stay that way after South Carolina chose Temple coach Dawn Staley to fill the head-coaching opening for which Warlick interviewed twice.

All in all, Warlick is fine with the status quo.

“I have a great job right now,’’ the Lady Vols associate head coach said. “There’s no disappointment I’m here, trust me. It (South Carolina) was an opportunity, but I have a good situation here.”

Instead of being down another assistant, the Lady Vols are back to full strength. Former Lady Vol Daedra Charles-Furlow was announced Wednesday as the new assistant. She replaces Nikki Caldwell, who departed last month to become head coach at UCLA.

Charles-Furlow, the former Wade Trophy winner, was an assistant on Auburn’s staff the past two seasons. She called the UT job, “an opportunity of a lifetime.”

“As a former player, she understands both the system and the expectations of the Tennessee program,’’ UT coach Pat Summitt said. “That combination should prove to be a valuable asset.”

Staley will be introduced Saturday as the Gamecocks’ new coach, pending approval of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees that day.

The State newspaper reported that Staley will earn a base salary of $250,000 with the total package at $650,000. Citing a source, the newspaper also reported Staley’s contract includes a clause stating that the school will help Staley in paying the buyout clause in her contract with Temple.

“I always thought that could be a great program,’’ Warlick said of South Carolina. “This was one that I thought I could’ve done well in. It just didn’t work out.”

So Warlick was back to work at Tennessee, saying, “I haven’t missed a beat. I have a great job. I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

Warlick, a three-time All-American as a Lady Vols player, joined UT’s coaching staff in 1985. She became the associate head coach in 2003, after Mickie DeMoss departed to become the head coach at Kentucky.

“I think it was a mixed bag all along for her (Warlick),’’ Summitt said. “Holly loves it here. It’s her alma mater. It wasn’t like she was out searching to leave the program. But it (South Carolina) was a place that would be appealing to her.”

Warlick didn’t rule out considering future head-coaching openings. Her track record, though, suggests selectivity. Before this spring, her last interviews were for the openings at Indiana and Clemson in 2005.

“I’m never going to say no,’’ she said. “But it has to be a good circumstance I’m going to.”

In the meantime, Warlick will be busy with a different sort of drive. She and Caldwell climb aboard motorcycles Sunday for a week-long trip to Key West and back to raise money and awareness concerning breast cancer.

As a kick-off event, Warlick and Caldwell will host a motorcycle ride and a post-ride gathering Saturday from Wild Wings Cafe off Campbell Station Road in Farragut. The ride starts at 4 p.m. and returns at 6:30 p.m. Riders pay $50 ($75 for couples) for the ride, a t-shirt, live music and all-you-can-eat appetizers. Pre-registration is required at cruisinforacause.com.

The public may attend the post-ride party with a $10 donation serving as an entry fee.

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Comments » 25

DroopyDrawers writes:

I am sorry for Holly but happy for Lady Vols as my wife and I are huge Lady Vol fans.

Holly, the Lady Vols need you.

vollady writes:

Sorry, Holly, but could you really be happy being anything other than a Lady Vol? Hope you have a good summer on your Harley and certainly good luck for the cause of making more people aware of Breast Cancer as you and Nikki travel around the country and raising money for this as well. Good luck.

cjensen writes:

Holly probably didn't want to take the pay cut to be a head coach...especially at a down-n-out program.

knoxnewsuser writes:

I think Coach Warlick will take Pat's place when she decides to retire. I am glad that she is staying because we still have a good chance to win it all even though we may not be the favorite.

superk#226173 writes:

Well we now know who ended up on top.

LadyVolFanForever writes:

No offense Holly but thank goodness you are staying with us !!!!!!!!!!

mdvol writes:

Sure...of course....got it. Who would want someone from an 8-time national champion program?

BSweet writes:

I'm sorry for Holly if she really wanted the job, but I'm glad she's staying. She's part of the UT family and it would be weird seeing her anywhere else. Still, you would think programs would be beating down her door to get her to come coach for them. I know many schools don't really seem to care about ladies' basketball, but Holly is a proven winner. She's spent 23 years learning from the greatest of all time. You'd think that would make her a hot commodity.

AllLadyVol writes:

FYI russ, Holly's not married.

But THANK GOD she is staying....Pat ain't no spring chicken and in my opinion Holly is the best one to continue the dynasty here at Tennessee after Pat decides 15 championships or so is enough. :). You would think that other schools would sell their grandmas for a coach from a school with 8 national championships, but then again other schools probably don't have pockets as deep as UT's. And our coaches get Mercedeses. :)

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Let's see....Stay with Pat S or take a guaranteed "to be hoisted on one's petard" SC gamechicken HC position.

Get back to you on this one. LOL

MillisaAnn writes:

Glad you are staying Holly!!! Go Lady Vols!!!

BigOrangeVol writes:

Great news for the Vol Nation and Holly. She deserves a Top 20 program head coaching job not a Bottom 20.

I also hold Staley in very high regard and she deserves better than USC too! She has more character than 80% of the Worlds population. Winning 68% at Temple is quite an accomplishment! Obviously when Debbie Ryan retires Dawn has a lock on the UVA job but that could be 10 years from now.

ps11824 writes:

What a relief. I just knew Holly did not really want to leave Big Orange Country. I don't think there's enough money to make Holly coach against the Lady Vols. She and Train and Pat will have this crop of LVs in ship shape by Jan '09, and that's just fine!

anosikefan writes:

Glad you are staying Holly!

LadyVolFanForever writes:

Bring on the new kids....we are at full strength again and ready to rumble !
Let's hope the team with all its new faces gets together and starts the jelling process asap. Also, I hope some of them will start spending half as much time as Candace did on the floor working on getting better and stronger. The great coaches are there to teach and guide them !
Looking forward to the next season....

GreerVol22 writes:

russ, Holly's husbands name is Bob.

superk#226173 writes:

MY GUESS: My guess is that no school will come too hard after Holly because they have to know that she will ut\ltimately go back home to Tennessee. Think about it, if she goes anf\d does decent at a school like SC and 5 years or so she leaves to take over at UT. I'd say schools want a fresh start with someone that may be closer to being their own.

johnlg00 writes:

Staley is a great hire for SC. Her compensation package is probably in the top 10% of women's head coaches, and probably twice what she made at Temple. If they support her and give her a couple of years, she may well turn their program around. The best of it, from my selfish point of view, is that her hiring allowed Holly to stay with us!

orangebloodgmc writes:

Glad Holly is staying; I remember when she played guard for us and at Bearden before that.

GreerVol22 writes:

nitwit lol :^)

ncvol writes:

SC may have needed someone of Holly's caliber but we sure are glad she is staying. Lady Vols need her to help Pat. We love you Holly....

Ralph_Crampton writes:

After reading these above comments, Holly, If I were you I would not think about another job. Ask Mickie DeMoss ...few teams are going to pay that much of a salary where lady's basketball is not that attractive. But it will be..don't say never, just keep your powder dry fo now young lady.

BillVol writes:

It makes no sense that Holly is not a major college head coach. Does she really earn more than $250K a year?

rockytopron writes:

Glad she's staying put for now. SC is a coaching graveyard and Staley will find out it would have been easier for her at Temple than SC. Holly will get her shot soon, maybe next year. But for now, she is a welcome sight on the bench next to Pat.

volnut1 writes:

Holly as a long time Lady Vol fan I am glad you are staying, but if you want a head coaching job I hope you get it soon and do well. I think that you (best associate coach in the nation) and probally a very very great head coach but in the mean time the new faces of LADY VOLS will need your help. Good luck vols.

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