You’d think having 10 coaches with five years or less experience at their respective programs would put a natural halt to changes in the Pac-12 among women’s basketball staffs. But Monday brought more news when Arizona State coach Charlie Turner Thorne announced she’s taking a voluntary, nine-month leave of absence.
Turner Thorne, 45, coached through three pregnancies, but now wants to spend more time with her family and develop her career. Her youngest of three sons is 7-years-old.
A former Washington graduate assistant, Turner Thorne was second to only Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer in terms of conference tenure at 15 years. Turner Thorne’s ASU teams made 11 consecutive postseason appearances, including a NCAA first-round loss in March. She’s reached the NCAA Elite Eight in 2007 and ’09.
“I’m not burned out,” she told The Arizona Republic. Turner Thorne will remain president of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. “I’m definitely not going to sit home and cook and clean. I’ve already got one (leadership) conference set up to learn from other people.
“I’m definitely going to take the opportunity after 23 years of grinding, grinding, grinding just to unwind a little bit. What’s so hard is to have enough time to step back and gain perspective when you’re not just charging ahead every day in this profession. That alone, despite all the other professional development, is going to help me be a better coach.”
Longtime ASU assistant Joseph Anders will be the interim head coach for the 2011-12 season. He was a former men’s head coach at Sacramento State.
*PHOTO CREDIT: ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne at impromptu press conference by ABC15