Langeland Announces Retirement From Coaching
Jan. 19, 2000
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State University women’s basketball coach Karen Langeland announced at a press conference Wednesday that she will retire from coaching following the current 1999-2000 season. Langeland, who is in her 24th year at MSU, will become an assistant athletics director following the season. In that capacity she will have sports administration responsibilities, supervise summer sports camps and other duties as assigned.
“I have enjoyed tremendously my 24 years of coaching at Michigan State, but now it is time to start a new chapter in my life,” Langeland said. “There comes a time when you have to take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself and that is what I’m doing. I have often thought about getting into athletic administration following my coaching career and things just fell into place at this time.”
The third coach in MSU women’s basketball history, Langeland has headed the program for 24 of its 28 years of varsity existence. She was named head coach in 1976 and helped the program rise from its days under the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) to the joining of the NCAA and the Big Ten in 1981-82.
“Karen Langeland has been a first-class representative of our women’s basketball program and Michigan State University for 24 years,” Director of Athletics Clarence Underwood said. “She has been an outstanding teacher and mentor for numerous student-athletes during her career and we look forward to her continued impact on the administrative side of athletics.”
A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Langeland has guided MSU to postseason appearances in three of the last four years, including the quarterfinals of the WNIT last season. In 1997, Langeland led the Spartans to a 22-8 record and their first Big Ten title. MSU teams have made NCAA Tournament appearances in 1991, 1996 and 1997 and an AIAW Tournament appearance (1977) under her tutelage.
Langeland was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1988 after leading the Spartans to a 12-6 record and fourth-place finish in the conference. She was named the District IV Coach of the Year in 1991 following the Spartans’ 21-8 finish and first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Langeland, who has a career record of 369-282, has won more games than any other coach in MSU men’s or women’s basketball history. The Spartan mentor has the longest tenure of any women’s basketball coach in the Big Ten and the second-longest tenure of any conference coach behind only Bob Knight of Indiana.
MSU players have been named to various All-Big Ten teams on 31 occasions during her career, including Maxann Reese, who earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors last year as a junior.
Every player who has remained in the program through her senior year has graduated, while student-athletes have earned Academic All-Big Ten, Academic All-District and Academic All-America honors on 40 occasions since 1980.
Langeland has twice coached the Big Ten All-Star team on summer tours (1994 and 1996), posting a 12-0 international record on tours of England, Scotland, Denmark and Sweden. This past summer, she led her own team on its first-ever foreign trip, posting a 5-0 mark in British Columbia, Canada.
Langeland, 52, earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Calvin College in 1970 and a master’s degree from Michigan State in 1977.
Her 1999-2000 squad is currently 12-4 overall and in fourth place in the Big Ten with a 3-2 mark. The Spartans travel to Iowa City, Iowa, on Thursday, Jan. 20 to face the Iowa Hawkeyes before returning to the Breslin Center to play host to the fifth-ranked Penn State Lady Lions on Sunday, Jan. 23 at 2 p.m.
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