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It's Official, Ryun Williams to Colorado State

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VERMILLION, S.D. - University of South Dakota head women’s basketball coach Ryun Williams has resigned his position, effective immediately, and has accepted the same position at Colorado State University of the Mountain West Conference. Williams’ hiring was announced Monday at a press conference on the CSU campus.

South Dakota Athletic Director David Sayler said an immediate national search will be done to find Williams’ replacement.

“The entire USD family wishes Ryun well and thanks him for all of his efforts with our women’s basketball program,” Sayler said. “Success leads to this type of situation occurring, so this was not a surprise to us. We are prepared to move forward now and build off the success that our women’s basketball program has created.”

Williams, a 1992 South Dakota graduate, has served as Coyote head women’s basketball coach for the past four seasons, guiding South Dakota through a successful transition to Division I competition. The Coyotes were 76-47 under Williams during his tenure and made back-to-back postseason tournament appearances in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

“It has been an extreme honor to be the women’s basketball coach at the University of South Dakota,” Williams said. “I will be forever grateful to USD for the opportunity it gave my family and I. Success comes because you are surrounded by great people and the people, players, coaches and leadership at USD have been truly amazing. And because of that my family and I are able to take this next step professionally. The experience of coaching at my alma mater will always be a tremendous highlight of my life. I cannot thank everyone enough who have made my time here at USD a very memorable experience.”

The 2011-12 campaign saw the Coyotes qualify for the WNIT for the first time as a Division I program, which was their second straight postseason berth. The Coyotes not only qualified for the event but also earned a pair of home games, including a 61-53 win over Drake in the opening round -- marking the second consecutive year South Dakota has won a postseason game. South Dakota also hosted a BCS conference school for the first time in 27 years when Colorado came to the DakotaDome for the second round of the WNIT.

A staple of the Coyotes under Williams was defense, and that was no exception in 2011-12. The Coyotes ranked second nationally in blocks per game (7.3), eighth in field-goal defense (33.2) and 12th in scoring defense (52.3), leading the Summit League in all three categories.

Despite being picked to finish seventh in the Summit League, Williams’ squad excelled during their first year in the league, recording a 12-6 mark and finishing alone in third place. South Dakota earned at least one win over all nine Summit League foes, with sweeps of Western Illinois, Oakland and Southern Utah. South Dakota also finished a program-best 87th in the RPI and second-highest of any Summit League team. South Dakota beat seven teams that qualified for postseason tournaments in 2011-12, including three NCAA tournament-bound teams (South Dakota State, Creighton and Idaho State).

In 2010-11, the Coyotes reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since moving to Division I, going 20-12 and qualifying for the Women’s Basketball Invitational tournament. The Coyotes beat Idaho, 62-47 in the opening round of the WBI for their first postseason win since moving to Division I.

During Williams’ first season in 2008-09, the Coyotes had an impressive 12-5 record in the DakotaDome highlighted by an 76-67 win over Northern Iowa which was the Coyotes’ first win over a Division I foe since making the transition from Division II.

South Dakota averaged 19 wins per season during Williams’ tenure. Amber Hegge was a three-time first-team all-conference honoree during that time, while Jodie Boss was a two-time conference defensive player of the year. The Coyotes also were named to the WBCA Academic Top 25 three straight years.

Williams won his 300th career game on Jan. 23, 2012, when the Coyotes beat IUPUI, 73-65. In 17 seasons as a collegiate head coach, he is 311-190.
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