“This has always been my seat,” she said, referring to a chair off to the side of the podium, out of the view of cameras.
So with his staff, several friends, athletic department officials and media representatives present, Moody thanked his wife for her support and “unconditional love” before officially announcing the end of his coaching career at Alabama.
“After careful consideration, hours of prayer and discussion with my family, I have decided to announce my retirement as head coach of the University of Alabama women’s basketball team effective at the end of the season,” Moody said.
Moody told his team he was leaving in a meeting Sunday night after the Tide lost to a previously winless in conference play South Carolina squad. Moody will serve as the head coach for the remainder of this season, which includes two regular season games, the SEC tournament and any other post season play – likely the women’s NIT.
Moody said he chose this time to announce his departure, “simply because I felt like there has been a lot of speculation and it had an impact on recruiting and put pressure on our players. Hopefully, with two games to go they can relax.”
“To see us not be able to play at the level expected I felt like it was my responsibility to go ahead and make a statement to them and relieve a lot of that pressure they were feeling,” he said.
The women’s basketball team have posted back-to-back losing seasons in the past two years, and are currently 13-12 overall, 4-8 in SEC play.
Moody thanked the staff, Athletics Director Mal Moore and Senior Women’s Administrator Marie Robbins for their support of him. He also thanked Steve Sloan and Sarah Patterson, who were instrumental in bringing Moody to Alabama in 1989.
Moody, in his 16th season at the helm of the Crimson Tide program, amassed 310- career wins, giving him more wins than any coach in Alabama basketball history. His list of accomplishments is long, including 11 postseason appearances, eight NCAA tournament bids, one Final Four appearance and five consecutive trips to the “Sweet 16.”
“I would like to say thank you to Rick for his commitment, dedication and hard work over the past 16 years as the head coach of our women’s basketball team,” Moore said.
Moore, along with Robbins and Associate AD Wendell Hudson will head up the search for a replacement.
“We'll meet tomorrow to get underway with it,” Moore said. “We're going to look at try find what will be very best fit for this program and the University.
Robbins said the search would be, “wide open and a national search.”
The squad will finish up the regular season with games at Vanderbilt (Feb. 24) and home against Tennessee Sunday.