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Linda Lappe steps down as Colorado women's basketball coach

Lappe had been the Buffaloes coach since 2010.

Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY Sports

Buffaloes women's basketball head coach Linda Lappe will step down athletic director Rick George announced Monday. Lappe has held the position since April of 2010 but a young team team struggled in 2016 to a 7-23 record and a 2-16 Pac-12 conference run.

Here's the full statement from the University:

University of Colorado athletic director Rick George announced Monday that he and head women's basketball coach, Linda Lappe, mutually agreed that a change was needed for the program and she will step down from the position she has held since April 12, 2010.

Colorado struggled to a 7-23 record this season, which included a 2-16 record in Pac-12 Conference play. The team was fairly young, as often the starting five included freshmen and sophomores, and the Buffs had one lone senior on the squad in forward Jamee Swan.

"We sat down and discussed in depth about the future of the program," George said. "In the end, it was a mutual decision as we came to the conclusion that at this time, it was important for the program to go in a different direction.

"We appreciate everything Linda has done for the program since she took it over," he added. "Her student-athletes have done a great job in the classroom, off the court and in the community. She has been a terrific role model and a great alum of the school; she will always be a Colorado Buffalo."

The women's basketball team grade point average rose 50 points, from 2.49 when she took over to 2.99 for the Fall '15 semester, with the cumulative GPA currently at 3.02, over 40 points higher from the team she inherited.

"I will forever be grateful for all the positive experiences CU has given me," Lappe said. "I feel honored to have been the coach here for the past six years and I want to thank President (Bruce) Benson, Chancellor (Phil) DiStefano and former athletic director Mike Bohn for this opportunity. I also want to thank my staff and players for all the hard work they have put into the program. I'm confident Colorado women's basketball can return to national prominence."

In six seasons, Lappe's teams compiled an overall record of 105-92, including a 39-68 record in conference play. Her teams made one NCAA appearance, which came in her third year (2012-13) when CU posted its best record under her leadership, 25-7 overall and 13-5 in the Pac-12, which was good for a fourth-place finish. That was CU's first NCAA tournament appearance in nine years; the other three of her first four CU teams qualified for the WNIT, but her last two were absent from postseason play.

A 2002 CU graduate, Lappe was a four-year letterwinner for the Buffaloes and a two-time team captain over the course of her playing career (the 1998-99 through 2002-03 seasons) under coach Ceal Barry. She spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Drake (2003-06) and one year at Colorado State (2006-07) before accepting her first head coaching position at Metro State. She led the Roadrunners to a 50-36 mark in three seasons before being named head coach at her alma mater. Her overall career record stands at 155-128 for nine years.

Lappe, 36, had three years remaining on her contract, as it runs through April 30, 2019; George said CU would honor the duration of it. She informed her team Monday morning of the impending change, as well as the two recruits that signed with the program last November.

George indicated that a search for Lappe's successor, who will be the just the eighth coach in CU's 43-year history, will begin immediately.