Gervasoni steps down as coach

BY DARRELL MOODY

Appeal Sports Writer

RENO " Kim Gervasoni, who guided the Nevada women's basketball team to 18 wins last season, announced her resignation Thursday afternoon.

Gervasoni, who guided the Wolf Pack to the Women's NIT after the 2006-07 season, improved her win total every year as a head coach. She finished with a 59-92 record during her tenure, 35 of those wins coming in the last two seasons. Her resignation was fdor personal reasons.

"I would like to thank Cary Groth, Cindy Fox and Chris Ault for giving me this opportunity to be the head women's basketball coach at the University of Nevada for the past five years," Gervasoni said in a statement released by the university. "I appreciate the support from the administration, support staff, my coaching staff, the players, my friends, family and the community. I'm grateful for my experience here and I am excited about my future."

Groth praised the work of Gervasoni, and said that she will start a national search immediately for a replacement.

"We're going to miss Kim," Groth said. "We understand how tough this decision was for her, and we support her. Kim has done a tremendous job with the women's basketball program in her five years at Nevada. I want to thank Kim for everything she has done for the University of Nevada and I wish her the best in the future."

Gervasoni endured a 3-win season her first year, won eight her second year and then followed that with 13, 17 and 18-win seasons.

"She was the leader; the heart and soul of the program," said Amanda Levens, who was Nevada's top assistant until taking the head job at the University of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville after this past season concluded. "She did everything she talked about doing five years ago.

"Except for a game here or there we could have won a conference championship this year. She did everything she said she would do in five years."

Indeed. The recruiting classes kept getting better and better. She was able to lure talented players like Brandi Fitzgerald, Dellena Criner, Mikail Price, Shavon Moore and Johnna Ward in her last three recruiting classes.

Levens would have been a perfect fit to succeed Gervasoni had she not taken the SIU-Edwardsville job. She said there will be plenty of good candidates that will go after the job.

"Nevada basketball is in a much better place than it was five years ago," Levens said. "I think it (the job) will attract a lot of very good applicants for that position.

"There are a lot of the players coming back. It's a great location and the recruiting class is a good one. The program is only going to get better."

- Darrell Moody can be reached at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281

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