It felt like it was only a matter of time.
Vanderbilt fired women’s basketball coach Stephanie White on Tuesday after a less-than-mediocre five seasons with the Commodores. The school announced it had immediately begun a national search for the next head coach.
“I want to thank Stephanie for her efforts over these past five years,” Vanderbilt athletic director Candice Lee said in a statement. “While we did not experience the results that we all hoped for, she held our student-athletes to high standards. She supported our student-athletes’ commitment to community service and welcomed alumni back to the program.
“I also want to thank Stephanie, her staff and our student-athletes for navigating the challenges of the past year. As I continued my evaluation of the program, I ultimately concluded that change is needed at this time. I wish Stephanie and her family the best.”
White compiled a 47-83 record with the Commodores after being hired in 2016 after coaching the WNBA's Indiana Fever. She won just 13 SEC games in a five-year span and Vanderbilt never won more than 14 games in season since she took over.
Also on Tuesday, forward Autumn Newby announced she had transferred to LSU. She was the third high-profile player to leave the Vanderbilt women’s program in the span of a week after Chelsi Hall transferred to Louisville and Koi Love entered the NCAA transfer portal.
Love (20.8 points per game) and Hall (15.4 points per game) were Vanderbilt’s top two leading scorers last season, while Newby led the team in rebounding her freshman (6.6 per game) and sophomore years (6.7 per game) and was the Commodores’ third-leading rebounder (5.9 per game) her junior year. She opted out of last season due to COVID-19 concerns.
Under White, nine players transferred or announced they will transfer from the program. Rebekah Dahlman (2014-15), Kayla Overbeck, Erin Whalen and Blessing Ejiofor (2015-16), Cierra Walker (2016-17), and Akira Levy (2018-19) left the program under White’s leadership.
At the time of their transfers, Dahlman was Vanderbilt’s leading scorer and SEC All-Freshman, Overbeck and Whalen were SEC All-Freshman selections, and Levy never played a game for VU.
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