Hall of Fame Coach Retires From Women's Basketball
Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
Central Michigan's assistant coach Kathy McGee talks strategy with head coach Sue Guevara during the final home game against Eastern Michigan. After five seasons with CMU, and helping the Chippewas tally 20-wins for the second straight year, McGee is retiring from basketball.
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Four years was the time span that assistant women's basketball coach Kathy McGee promised head coach Sue Guevara when she came out of retirement in 2007 to join Guevara's coaching staff. Five years later, McGee is stepping away from coaching, as she has announced her departure from the Central Michigan basketball program at the end of April.

"This decision has not been easy," said McGee. "I am leaving a great program that has a bright future ahead of it. I will definitely be leaving a part of me with it and the kids."

Since joining the coaching staff in 2007 McGee has helped the Chippewas compile two of the program's five 20-win seasons. She has also assisted the Chippewas to back-to-back trips to the WNIT, four consecutive trips to the MAC Tournament quarterfinals and their first trip to the MAC Tournament championship game since 1991, in which CMU was defeated by Eastern Michigan on a last-second basket.

"That loss at Cleveland was a turning point for me and this program," commented McGee. "Both the coaching staff and the players left everything they had out there on the court. This is something that is going to take time to recover from, but when this team does, watch out - they are going to be on a mission. Me on the other hand, I am just tired and ready to step away. Life throws you unexpected roads, so who knows where the next one might take me."

Since coming to CMU, McGee has been responsible for player development, scouting and alumnae relations. On the court she primarily worked with the post players, having developed five All-Mid-American Conference selections during her tenure.

She worked closely with Kaihla Szunko, who became the first player in MAC history to finish her career with 1,000 points and rebounds, and at least 200 steals. McGee helped Szunko and Britni Houghton both climb into the program's top-10 in career scoring during her time on the bench. This season she worked with Taylor Johnson and Jas'Mine Bracey. Johnson, the reigning MAC Sixth Player of the Year, earned 2012 MAC honorable mention accolades, while Bracey was a member of the MAC All-Freshmen Team. Bracey finished the year with the fourth-most rebounds recorded by a CMU freshman and the eighth-most points per game.

McGee has also played a major role in the success of "Hoops for Hunger," formerly known as "Recess at Rose," which has won CMU the NCAA's "Pack the House" award four consecutive years. This year alone, the Maroon and Gold raised over 51,000 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan while attracting 4,296 fans to the season opener against Northwestern.

"The last five years this program has taken huge strides and coach McGee was a huge part of that," said Guevara. "She has helped to build great fans and community support. Her love for this school is second to none. She is a great teacher who has built great relationships and will always be a part of this team."

While McGee has been in college basketball for the past five years, her name was made in high school basketball. She retired in 2006 as the winningest head girls basketball coach in the history of the Michigan High School Athletics Association. She came to CMU from Flint Powers Catholic High School where she was the girl's basketball coach since 1976. She was just one win shy of 600 with an overall record of 599-153.

In the fall of 2008 she was inducted to the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame and into the National High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in the summer of 2011.