Sports

Darling steps down

After just two seasons at the helm, Tiffany Darling has resigned as head coach of the Peninsula College women's basketball team.

College athletic director Rick Ross confirmed Darling signed a letter of resignation that she submitted to college president Tom Keegan on March 12.

Ross declined to comment regarding Darling's reasons for her resignation; Darling had not returned phone calls as of late last week.

In two seasons as head coach at Peninsula, the Pirates were 24-26, including a 15-17 mark in NWAACC play. After finishing with a .500 mark in conference play in 2006-07, the Pirates had a solid recruiting class and high hopes for 2007-08. But injuries thwarted star recruit Ayla Brown's debut, 2006-07 star Brooke Helpenstell decided not to play and sophomore starter Kathleen Wilson left the team before season's end.

Now, the Pirates are looking for their third coach in four years.

"We're trying to move on that as quickly as possible," Ross said, noting that recruiting for 2008-09 players is already under way. "One of the challenges for us is what to put together to offer a prospective coach. As soon as we have that laid out, we'll post that job."

As of late last week, assistant coach Kathy Langston, a 30-year veteran of high school and college coaching, is assuming recruiting and other coaching responsibilities, Ross said.

"We've got a really good core (of players)," Ross said. "We want to find someone they're happy they're playing for and someone who can be out recruiting."

Ross said that it can be hard to keep community college coaches at one school because of the nature of the career: coaches often use such positions as springboards to bigger schools.

"Some (coaches) stay longer than others; you hope they stay around," Ross said. "But we also support their career goals."

Darling came to Peninsula College after a stint as assistant coach at St. Martin's University in Lacey. Prior to that, she was the head coach at Warden High School in eastern Washington where, in only two years, her team won the league championship, the school's first-ever district championship and a berth at state.

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