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Macy resigns amid internal review

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Heather Macy talks to her players during a game at Minges Coliseum on Jan. 10, 2018.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

East Carolina women’s basketball coach Heather Macy resigned on Wednesday after the conclusion of an internal review led by the ECU athletics’ office of compliance, citing her misunderstanding of practice rules.

Macy became the Pirates’ all-time leader in women’s basketball wins last season and was set to start her ninth season Nov. 6. Assistant coach Chad Killinger accepted the role as interim head coach.

“I am proud of my record as the winningest coach in ECU women’s basketball history,” Macy wrote in a text message Wednesday. “I have enjoyed my association with our coaches and players and I will always treasure the accomplishments we realized together. I regret that my misunderstanding about practice rules has led to this end.

“But, I have chosen to resign in order to save the university and the team from any unnecessary distractions.”

Macy attended the American Athletic Conference basketball media day event held Monday in Philadelphia.

Her contract was set to run through April 30, 2020. An ECU release said that Macy, who compiled a 134-117 record in eight seasons, will be reassigned within the department until the completion of her employment on Dec. 17, 2018.

Joyce Fitzpatrick, a communications representative for Macy’s attorney, Randall Roden and Tharrington Smith, of Raleigh, said the Dec. 17 date was agreed upon as a transitional period. Fitzpatrick also said Wednesday afternoon that Macy had not yet received her new assignment.

“I want to thank our fans and the community for embracing me and our team over the past eight years,” Macy said.

Although ECU has concluded its internal review, situations with compliance typically can lead to further NCAA review.

ECU athletics spokesman Tom McClellan said that he could not comment any further on specifics regarding the review, which began in early August.

Killinger, who joined the Pirates’ staff in June, addressed the media in his new role late Wednesday afternoon after an emotional team meeting had already been held by players and coaches. Macy was not at the meeting, Killinger said.

He said no one knew it was coming.

“We had gotten a little bit of information back from the (compliance review) and it was very minor things, so we weren't too concerned about any of that and we were moving forward and preparing for the season just like normal,” Killinger said in breaking down this week’s timeline. “Coach (Macy) had just gone to AAC media day and (Tuesday) morning she had some meetings and we didn’t see her. From that point, it was our day off and we were just kind of waiting to hear back from her.

“This morning was definitely kind of a bombshell dropped on everybody.”

The team was scheduled to hold a local media day event Wednesday afternoon. Killinger, who spent the previous seven seasons as head coach at Moberly Area (Mo.) Community College, said the team will resume practice Friday.

He takes over a roster that returns 11 players from last year’s team that finished with a 16-15 record for ECU’s first winning season since 2014-15. The Pirates were picked eighth in the AAC preseason poll released Monday, when Macy was in Philadelphia and joined by sophomore point guard Lashonda Monk.

“I think we need to give (the players) an opportunity to decompress a little bit, and obviously give our coaching staff a chance to sit down and talk about what we need to do moving forward,” Killinger said. “It is not just from an Xs and Os standpoint, but also we are making sure academically that the girls are doing what they need to do and having a discipline plan in place. We just need to look at all the components of the program and see how we need to move forward.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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