TOLEDO, OH - University of Toledo head women's basketball coach Mark Ehlen announced today that he is resigning his position effective at the conclusion of this season. Ehlen, who has been the Rockets' leader for the past 13 seasons, has a career record of 236-145 at UT. During his tenure, Ehlen's teams won three regular-season Mid-American Conference titles and four MAC West Division crowns, and made four trips to the NCAA Tournament.
The Rockets currently are 10-12, 3-7 in the MAC following a 70-58 setback at Ohio on Wednesday. They have six more regular-season games to play before the MAC Tournament begins on Sunday, March 9.
"I'm proud to have been the head coach at UT for the last 13 years," said Ehlen, the school's all-time leader in victories. "I'm proud of what we've accomplished in that time. Yet with coaching, you have to take the bad with the good and the last five seasons have not been good for a program that deserves success. Tried as I might, I just haven't been able to get this program back to where it belongs, so I think it is time to step aside and let someone else come in and bring this program back."
UT Athletic Director Mike O'Brien praised Ehlen's accomplishments as a coach and as a leader of young women.
"Mark Ehlen has been a class act and a terrific basketball coach for UT," said O'Brien. "In his 13 seasons as a Rocket, Mark has led the Rockets to many victories and championships. More importantly, he has been instrumental in nurturing the overall development of the student-athletes entrusted to his care. We wish him all the best as he enters a new chapter in his life."
O'Brien added that the process to replace Ehlen would begin immediately.
A record four-time MAC Coach of the Year honoree (1997, ‘99, ‘01, ‘03), Ehlen is second in league history in conference victories only (138) and 11th in overall winning percentage (.619). He is also the 10th-winningest coach, percentage-wise, in MAC history in league games (138-70). His players have received three MAC Player of the Year awards (Angela Drake - 1997 and Kim Knuth - 1998 & ‘99), as well as nine first-team All-MAC selections.
Under Ehlen, Toledo has made six postseason tournament appearances and averaged 18.2 wins per season.
The Rockets' best performance in the "Big Dance" came in 1996 with a second-round showing. The Midnight Blue and Gold won an NCAA tourney game with a 65-53 victory over 24th-ranked Mississippi, before falling to sixth-ranked Old Dominion, 72-66, in second-round action.
The Rockets have been successful in the classroom as well as on the basketball court. In Ehlen's tenure, Rocket players have been selected first team Academic All-MAC nine times and Academic All-District IV first-team seven times, including one CoSIDA Academic All-America pick.
Under his tutelage at UT, the Rockets have posted team GPAs above 3.0 in 21 of the last 27 semesters.
The Rockets' success in the classroom has been recognized by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Academic Top-25 Team Honor Roll four times during his tenure. In 2001-02, the Rockets posted a 3.465 overall team GPA to finish second nationally among more than 300 Division I programs. In 1999-2000, the Rockets finished third after registering a 3.41 GPA. In 1998-99, the Rockets (3.34) finished tied for eighth-place. In 1996-97, the Rockets had the fifth-best GPA (3.39) in the nation.
Ehlen, who has a 358-275 record (.565) in his 22-year coaching career, was named the Toledo head coach on August 21, 1995, becoming the eighth coach in the program's history.