College of Charleston women’s basketball coach Candice M. Jackson will not have her contract renewed, the school announced Thursday.
Jackson was 39-113 overall and 20-70 in the Colonial Athletic Association during her five years with the Cougars, who were 7-23 this season.
“We thank Candice for her service to the College and her contributions to our women’s basketball program over the last five years,” College of Charleston athletic director Matt Roberts said. “A number of our women’s basketball student-athletes achieved athletic and academic recognition under her leadership. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
Jackson was caught up in two controversial incidents during her tenure with the Cougars.
The first coming during Jackson’s first season as head coach when a former player sued the school for gross negligence. The suit was settled in 2018.
In the suit, Zoe Willis, a 6-3 center from Chesterfield, Missouri, alleged she suffered “serious organ damage, including damage to her liver and kidneys” during a team practice in August 2014.
The suit alleged that Wallis was forced to perform a five-mile timed run across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge from Charleston to Mount Pleasant and back. She collapsed during the run after “multiple attempts” to tell the coaches she was having trouble and needed to stop.
The suit also alleged that Jackson yelled to Wallis that she was weak and should crawl to the finish line, and that when Wallis was unresponsive, Jackson ordered players to carry her over the finish line. Instead of calling 911, Wallis was driven to a hospital, where she was found to be suffering from severe metabolic acidosis, acute renal failure and electrolyte abnormalities. She was admitted to intensive care and remained in the hospital for two days.
In 2017, the Cougars were forced to forfeit conference games against William & Mary and UNC Wilmington for using “improperly sized” basketballs.
The team unknowingly used men’s basketballs, which are bigger than women’s basketballs. NCAA women’s teams use basketballs that measure 28½ inches in circumference, compared to 29½ inches for men’s teams.
Roberts said the school will begin a national search for Jackson’s successor.
“There’s no real timetable,” Roberts said. “We’ll hire someone in as soon as we find the right person.”
Jackson, who played collegiately at Michigan State, was hired at College of Charleston in April of 2014 after serving as an assistant coach for three seasons at Duke.