The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball program will look to fulfill their head coaching position after head coach Tory Verdi accepted the same position at the University of Massachusetts Saturday morning.
“We are incredibly proud of Coach Verdi and he did an exceptional job building our women's basketball team in his four years at the helm," EMU Athletic Director Heather Lyke stated in a press release Saturday morning. "He is a dynamic leader and coach and an even better person. We wish him and his family all the best in the future. Coach Verdi leaves our women’s basketball program in tremendous standing filled with talented, bright student-athletes. We have great expectations for our student-athletes to continue to compete for Mid-American Conference championships and postseason opportunities in the coming years."
In his time coaching the Eagles, Verdi's improvement showed every season during his four years. He became head coach for the program April 26, 2012 and had an overall record 72-62. His first season his team went 8-22. In 2013-14, Verdi's team improved to a winning record of 18-14 – followed by a 24-13 season, tying a program best in 2014-15. The Eagles won 17 of their final 23 games and were the runner-up for the Mid-American Conference Championship.
In his final season for the Eagles, the team had a 22-12 record and earned their third straight postseason appearance.
“This was an extremely difficult decision," Verdi said. "I was blessed to work with such a great staff and an outstanding group of student-athletes. In addition, I need to thank Heather Lyke, Erin Kido and the entire EMU community for their support during my time here. Hard work and dedication were instrumental to changing the culture and expectations and we were able to do some very special things here at EMU."
Behind Verdi, the Eagles had one of the best program improvements in the country after his first season, as EMU were 17th in the nation for most improved in the country. Junior guard Cha Sweeney received MAC Player of the Year and All-MAC second team recognition under Verdi.
The University of Massachusetts will be Verdi’s 13th coaching job as he has been apart of 12 other teams from professional to collegiate – including the Connecticut Sun (WNBA) and other colleges such as Kansas and Nebraska University.
At this time Verdi’s former position is vacant, but EMU has started a nation search.