Syracuse women's hoops coach Quentin Hillsman resigns

8/2/2021 3:17:15 PM EST

Quentin Hillsman resigned under a cloud Monday after 15 seasons as head coach of the Syracuse women's basketball program.

The school launched an external investigation of Hillsman in June following a report in The Athletic alleging that he had engaged in "inappropriate behavior" that included "unwanted physical contact, threats and bullying."

Since the end of last season, 11 Syracuse players have announced plans to transfer, including leading scorer Kiara Lewis and ACC Freshman of the Year Kamilla Cardoso.

"The University has accepted Coach Quentin Hillsman's resignation," read a statement issued Monday by athletic director John Wildhack. "Coach Hillsman and I agreed that parting ways is in the best interest of the University, the program and our student-athletes. We wish him and his family all the best. Interim leadership for the Women's Basketball Program will be announced in the coming days.

"As previously announced, the University retained an external law firm to conduct a review of the program. That review is ongoing, and the Department of Athletics will address issues that are identified at the conclusion of the review.

"We remain focused on providing the best experience possible -- one that prioritizes the well-being of all student-athletes and positions them for success in competition, in the classroom, in their communities and in life beyond Syracuse University."

Hillsman, 50, compiled a 319-169 record from 2006-21. He is the winningest coach in program history.

Since 2018, 20 women have left the Orange. Nine of those players spoke to The Athletic, with three saying they had thoughts of suicide related to their time with the program.

Allegations against Hillsman included his use of vulgar language, physical threats, denying the players water in practice and kissing some on the forehead.

"The way he threatened us, like we all knew he would never physically harm us, but he'd always be talking about beating our asses," one former player told The Athletic. "Like, 'I'll f-- you guys up. I'll f-- you up. It's gonna be your ass if you f-- this up.'"

During halftime of a game in the 2019-20 season, Hillsman allegedly flipped a table after saying individually to each player, "I don't give a f-- about you."

During his tenure, the Orange appeared in 13 postseason tournaments out of the 14 seasons in which they were held. That includes nine trips to the NCAA Tournament. His program produced 19 all-conference selections, according to the university web site, five All-Americans and four WNBA draft picks.

Syracuse lost the final of the 2016 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament to UConn, 82-51.

--Field Level Media

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