Louisiana Tech's Stoehr says program ready to move forward
RUSTON, La. (AP) Brooke Stoehr wants everyone to understand that the Louisiana Tech women's basketball program is ''not broken'' following the surprising resignation of Tyler Summitt.
''We're moving forward and we're going in the right direction,'' said Stoehr, who was introduced Tuesday at news conference on campus as Summitt's successor.
Summitt resigned on April 7 after acknowledging he had an inappropriate relationship, though he offered no other details at the time. The 25-year-old Summitt is the son of Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt. He had a 30-31 record over two seasons at Louisiana Tech.
Stoehr, who played at Louisiana Tech from 1998 to 2002, said ''this is the time to get behind our program.''
The 35-year-old has been the co-head coach at Northwestern State (La.) for the past four seasons along with her husband Scott. She will have a similar arrangement at Louisiana Tech because state law prohibits public employees from hiring a spouse.
Senior guard Ashley Santos said the past two weeks have been stressful for everyone involved with the program, but Stoehr's presence has had a calming effect.
''Everyone can take a deep breath - we have our leader,'' Santos said.
The guard said she's pleased that Stoehr is a former Louisiana Tech player, so she understands the scrutiny and expectations in the program. The Lady Techsters made 13 Final Four appearances throughout the 1970s, `80s and `90s, but the program has slowly faded off the national radar since that time.
Stoehr said she didn't expect this coaching transition to be any more difficult than normal, despite the unusual circumstances regarding Summitt's departure.
''You have to earn the trust of your players no matter what,'' Stoehr said. ''We're all going to be a little hesitant at first. There's a feeling out process, but young people can see when you're genuine.''