Skeete Leaving Gulf Coast for Job at Marquette

Panama City, FL---The Gulf Coast women's basketball program is now in the market for a new head coach.

After two years running the bench at Gulf Coast, coach Vernette Skeete is moving on. She's accepting an assistant's job with Marquette University. So she's bound for the Big East.

That offer at Marquette coming from that program's new head coach Carolyn Kieger, who coached alongside Skeete when both were assistants at the University of Miami a few years ago. So there's a good relationship there.

Coach Skeete talking to me from Milwaukee just a short time after she officially accepted the job Wednesday.

She says she went up there looking to see if there was "a real passion for women's basketball, and a motivation to be great."

She told me she's convinced there is, and that helped make this decision. It is a considerable bump in salary, but coach says this was also "a spiritual decision.".

Skeete, a Malone, Florida native, who played two years at Gulf Coast, says she's anxious to take the next step in her career, and work to help Kieger build something special at Marquette.

Coach Skeete also telling me there is a rather tough side to this move. That is leaving behind Gulf Coast and the young ladies in the program, including incoming recruits.

She knows her players were prepared for Wednesday's news, but still it's tough to leave them behind. She adds assistant coach Austin Mefford will handle things for now, and she told me she's hopeful he will get a good look at taking over.

Coach Skeete says "Austin's qualified, and it's just a matter of time before he is a head coach." and she would love to see Gulf Coast be the place for him to get that start.

Coach Skeete says she'll be back on campus to meet with her players face to face and begin working to make the transition to a new coach as smooth as possible.