BYU women’s basketball head coach Jeff Judkins is retiring after 21 seasons as the program’s head coach, the school announced Thursday.
Judkins holds the school record for most wins by a head coach in BYU basketball history, men or women, leading BYU to a 456-204 record during his tenure.
“I’ve loved my years here. The program is in a good place and it’s a good time for me,” Judkins said in a statement.
Judkins led the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament 10 times, including two Sweet 16 appearances in 2002 and 2014, and the WNIT five times.
His teams won five conference regular-season championships — including one this past season — and four postseason conference titles.
“I have so many great memories of BYU. I’ve loved the people, the players, the coaches and everyone here at BYU. We turned this program into a consistent winner that wins conference championships and goes to the tournament on a regular basis,” Judkins said in a statement.
“We’ve had great players and historic wins but more importantly it has been the people and the relationships that I have loved and will remember the most. I’ve been lucky to be able to do something that I’ve loved so much for as long as I have.”
A national search for his replacement will begin immediately, the school said.
In Judkins’ last season, the Cougars won a program regular-season record 25 games and were ranked as high as No. 15 in the Associated Press poll (also a school record). They spent 16 consecutive weeks in the AP poll during the 2021-22 season.
Judkins was named the 2022 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year. His team advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 6 seed, losing to Villanova in the first round.
At BYU, Judkins coached eight conference players of the year and eight All-Americans, including the 2022 WCC Player of the Year Shaylee Gonzales. Judkins also had 63 players earn all-conference honors and 102 take-home academic awards.
“Jeff Judkins has had an illustrious career in basketball,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in a statement. “From his high school days at Highland High School, to starring at the University of Utah, to his time in the NBA and finishing off with 21 years as head coach of the BYU Women’s Basketball team, Juddy has accomplished so much.
“His record of wins, championships, great players he’s mentored and great teams he’s led will long be remembered. Jeff loved his players, and they loved him.”
Judkins played for the University of Utah from 1974-78 and was a second-round NBA draft pick, going on to play for four NBA teams, including the Utah Jazz.
After his playing career, Judkins was an assistant coach for the Utes’ men’s team for 10 seasons under Rick Majerus. He also was an assistant coach for BYU’s women’s team for one season before taking over the head-coaching position in the 2001-02 season.