South Alabama women's coach Rick Pietri relieved of duties

MOBILE, Ala. ( – University of South Alabama Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann announced Friday that women's basketball coach Rick Pietri has been released from his contract.  A national search for his successor will begin immediately.

"Rick has been a tremendous colleague and leader in our department for over a decade," Erdmann said.  "We deeply appreciate his efforts and wish him well in all future endeavors."

Pietri departs as the school's all-time leader in wins after posting a 220-167 mark in 13 seasons at the helm of the program, which included a 111-104 record in Sun Belt Conference play.  He guided the Lady Jags to three 20-win seasons — the last in 2008-09 — as well as the conference West Division crown and a berth in the WNIT in both 2003 and '04.

USA finished the 2012-13 campaign 17-13 after falling in the opening round of the league tournament last week.