BYU women's basketball coach Jeff Judkins announces retirement after 21 years with the Cougars

Longtime BYU women's basketball head coach Jeff Judkins announced his retirement Thursday after 21 years at the school.

Judkins, who finished his career with a 456-204 record and led his teams to two Sweet 16s, caps his time in Provo as the winningest coach in BYU basketball history across both the men's and women's programs.

The Cougars, a 6-seed, fell to Villanova in the first round of the NCAA tournament last month, their 11th appearance in the Big Dance under Judkins. Their two regional semifinal appearances came in 2002 and 2014. Prior to Judkins' arrival, BYU made the NCAA tournament just four times, and had never won a game.

Judkins, 66, won a second consecutive West Coast Conference Coach of the Year award in 2022 and was one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith women's college Coach of the Year. The Cougars' 25 regular season wins, No. 15 ranking in the Associated Press poll in early March and 16-consecutive weeks in the poll throughout the season were all program records. They also boasted the back-to-back WCC player of the year, Shaylee Gonzales.

"I've loved my years here. The program is in a good place and it's a good time for me," Judkins said in a statement. "We turned this program into a consistent winner that wins conference championships and goes to the tournament on a regular basis. We've had great players and historic wins but more importantly it has been the people and the relationships that I have loved and will remember the most. I've been lucky to be able to do something that I've loved so much for as long as I have."

Judkins also won five regular-season conference titles (including the WCC crown in 2022) and four conference tournament championships during his time at BYU.

A national search to replace Judkins will begin immediately, the school said. BYU, which has played basketball in the WCC for over a decade, will join the Big 12 in 2023 as part of conference realignment.