The 2015 NCAA women's basketball tournament did not include legendary Georgia coach Andy Landers.
Future ones won't, either.
Landers, the only full-time women's basketball coach in Georgia history, announced his retirement Monday following 36 seasons in Athens. The 62-year-old amassed 862 wins with the Lady Bulldogs, taking them to five Final Four appearances, which included runner-up showings in 1985 and 1996.
"Andy has led our women's basketball program on an incredible journey for 36 years, and his Women's Basketball Hall of Fame recognition in 2007 is a testimony to his impact on the world of women's college basketball," Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. "Andy has poured his heart and soul into our program, and his dedication to the remarkable athletic and academic progress of his student-athletes is sincerely appreciated by everyone associated with UGA."
Georgia was 17-3 at one point this season but then suffered eight straight losses and wound up 19-12. The Lady Bulldogs missed the NCAA tournament for just the third time in 34 years, with the debut of the NCAA women's event occurring nearly three years after Landers was hired at Georgia following four seasons at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tenn.
Landers began his Lady Bulldogs career making $20,000 annually.
"I owe a special thanks to Coach Vince Dooley for entrusting me with the challenge of building a successful program 36 years ago and to Greg McGarity for continuing that trust and support," Landers said. "Most of all, I want to thank each and every player for committing to the challenge of being the best they could be, because in so doing they contributed to and established a tradition that fewer than a handful can match. They created a program that ranks among the most elite nationwide."
Last November, Landers became just the seventh men's or women's college basketball coach to record 850 victories at a single Division I institution, joining Pat Summitt (Tennessee), Geno Auriemma (Connecticut), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Dean Smith (North Carolina), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) and Adolph Rupp (Kentucky).
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