WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Ahead of the 2021-22 college basketball season, Purdue women's basketball coach Sharon Versyp announced her retirement Thursday.
Versyp's retirement is effective immediately, meaning Katie Gearlds — who joined the Boilermakers' coaching staff in March as an associate head coach to replace Versyp at the conclusion of the season — will step in as the eighth head coach in the program's history.
In a span of 15 seasons, Versyp led Purdue to four Big Ten Conference Tournament titles, nine NCAA Tournament appearances and more than 300 wins. She earned a 418-257 overall record in 25 years of coaching at the college level.
"Coaching at my alma mater has been the greatest honor of my professional life," Versyp said in a statement. "My purpose has always been to teach life skills through basketball: respect, hard work, discipline, selflessness, what it means to be part of a team.
"I am delighted that the alumna coaching tradition will continue with Katie Gearlds – it shows what a special program we have at Purdue. I believe that the team is in great hands with Katie and the entire staff.
"I am thankful for my close to 20 years here at Purdue and all of the people who have been such a positive and memorable part of my experience. I am ready to chase new dreams off the court."
Before her retirement, Versyp was under investigation by Purdue's Office of Institutional Equity to see whether she violated the school's anti-harassment policy. According to a report, she was accused of creating a "toxic and hostile" environment.
Versyp, a 1988 Purdue graduate, is the program’s all-time winningest coach with 301 victories. She was set to coach in her 16th and final season with the Boilermakers.
"We sincerely thank coach Versyp for her commitment and devotion to Purdue, her impact on the greater Lafayette community and the leadership she's provided our women's basketball program," Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski said in a statement. "As we move forward, our program will benefit from the history of success and accomplishments under coach Versyp's watch. We wish her the very best in the years ahead."
Gearlds, who spent the last eight years as the head coach of Marion University women's basketball, is a former All-American in her time playing at Purdue. She played one season under Versyp.
The three-time NAIA Coach of the Year, Gearlds recorded a 228-50 record at Marian and won back-to-back NAIA national championships in 2016 and 2017.