Coquese Washington isn't going anywhere.
Washington guided Penn State to a Big Ten regular season title and a Sweet 16 appearance this season. (Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletic Communications)
Penn State called a news conference Monday to announce that its women's basketball coach, who interviewed at the University of Michigan last week, will remain with the Lady Lions.
"Many of you know there's been some interest from other universities," Washington said Monday. "But what many of you may not know is that Dave (Joyner) and I have been talking well before those calls came about my future here at Penn State.
"I love it here at Penn State. I really do. I love what my life is like here. I love what my family's life is like here. This is a tremendous community to raise a family in. The decision to stay here at Penn State, for me, was a simple one."
Penn State acting athletic director David Joyner, who sat next to Washington during the 20-minute news conference in the Bryce Jordan Center, was careful not to say if the terms of Washington's current contract, which expires in 2014, had changed.
"Penn State and Coquese are going to have a long history here together," Joyner said. "We're just so proud that she's here and that she's continuing her commitment to Penn State."
Washington is 92-67 in five years at Penn State after leading the Lady Lions to a 26-7 record and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament this past season. She did not say if the Wolverines, who had an opening after Kevin Borseth left for Wisconsin-Green Bay, had offered her the job or not.
"It definitely reinforced for me that Penn State is the perfect place for me," Washington said of the visit to Michigan. "Because of the values and the goals and the leadership in place here, it's a wonderful marriage for me. As Dave said earlier, it's not about the money. It's about being in a place where you feel like you can grow as a human being and become a better person."
A group of Washington's players attended the news conference and applauded from the back of the room on several occasions before speaking to reporters.
"I knew in my heart of hearts Co wasn't going to go anywhere," forward Talia East said. "She's a fantastic coach and I just look forward to continuing to build our program."
Washington is, too.
"All the speculation and all the things that were going on the past week did nothing but to make me realize how privileged I am and how blessed I am to be at Penn State University at this time and this moment," Washington said. "And I want to be at Penn State at this time and this moment. ... I look forward to continue doing the work we have to do."