Saturday, May 06, 2006

Former Drake Coach Lisa Stone, Whose Record At Wisconsin Is Only 33-51, Told 'You Need To Do Better'--Her Contract Isn't Extended

University of Wisconsin senior associate athletic director Vince Sweeney expressed confidence Friday in women's basketball coach Lisa Stone.

But Sweeney and the Athletic Board also gave a strong indication her program needs to improve during the annual review of the winter UW coaches' contracts, Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal wrote.

The board voted to maintain Stone's current contract, which expires May 31, 2010, rather than extending it a year. That means Stone has gone from a five-year contract to a four-year deal.

When the board has done that in the past, like it did twice to former women's coach Jane Albright, it usually means expectations are not being met. Stone's three-year overall record is 33-51, including 14-34 in Big Ten Conference play.

Stone came to Wisconsin after being Drake's head coach.

Sweeney, who is concluding his first year overseeing the women's basketball program, said the move was not an indication he is unhappy with Stone.

"We don't see it as a negative in any way," Sweeney said. "We see it as an acknowledgement that we've got some work to do. But we also are fully confident that she is going to get it done."

Sweeney said the length of the existing contract lessens the significance of the decision.

"I think what we hung our hat on, the contract through May of 2010 is longer than most of our coaches' contracts," Sweeney said. "It gives her plenty of time to recruit and plenty of time to continue to make progress."

A spokesperson said Stone declined to comment on her contract.

"She's the first to acknowledge she would have liked to have seen a few more victories along the way and needs to continue to make progress, so she's not surprised, shocked, disappointed," Sweeney said. "She's got four years to go and she has the confidence to get it done and we have the confidence in her that she will get it done."