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Tennessee fires coach Harper after 5 seasons

Peyton Williams / NCAA Photos / Getty

Tennessee has fired women's basketball coach Kellie Harper after five seasons, the school announced Monday.

"Decisions like these are never easy to make, especially with someone who has done so much for the Lady Vols as a three-time national champion student-athlete," vice chancellor and director of athletics Danny White said in a statement. "Her love and passion for Tennessee and the Lady Vols is second to none. She has invested so much heart and soul into our program and truly has given her all for Tennessee."

The No. 6 seed Lady Vols were eliminated by No. 3 NC State in the second round of March Madness.

A three-time champion with Tennessee as a player, Harper was hired as the team's bench boss in 2019. She went 108-52 with the Lady Vols, leading the program to four straight NCAA Tournaments - including back-to-back Sweet Sixteen berths in 2022 and 2023.

"It has been an honor to serve at my alma mater and to coach a Lady Vol program I love so dearly," said Harper. "I am grateful for the opportunity my staff and I have had to lead an amazing group of young women and to mentor them on the court as well as provide them with life skills that will benefit them far beyond the game of basketball."

White said he'll seek input from current Tennessee players "to find the next leader for our iconic women's basketball program."

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