WVU Release Winningest Coach in WVU Women’s Basketball History Announces Retirement

Keenan Cummings

Fact Based and Wonderful
Sep 16, 2007
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 16, 2022) – West Virginia University women’s basketball coach Mike Carey, the winningest coach in program history, has announced his retirement after 21 years of leading the Mountaineer program.

“I want to thank all my current and former players and staff for 21 great years at West Virginia University. This has been a lot of fun, and I am certainly proud of what we were able to build and accomplish,” Carey said. “I also want to thank the state of West Virginia and our incredible fans. The support and loyalty throughout my tenure at WVU, through both highs and lows, makes me proud to be from this state. I look forward to being WVU women’s basketball’s biggest fan, alongside the fans who supported me all these years. It has been a privilege to lead this program, but I believe this is the right time in my life to turn the program over to someone else.

“I have had a wonderful career coaching at the high school, Division II and Power 5 levels, but I want to now take some time for myself and family, to sit back, breathe and enjoy what has been a long and fun career. However, I am most excited to spend time with my family. I have five grandkids that are growing up so fast, and I look forward to spending much more time with them.”

Carey guided the Mountaineers to 11 NCAA Tournaments, five WNIT appearances and a program-record 13 straight postseason appearances from 2007-19. Carey’s teams advanced to the NCAA second round on 10 occasions and reached the WNIT championship game twice.

He was named Big East Conference Coach of the Year in 2004 after posting a 21-11 overall record with a 10-6 league mark, and again in 2010 after a 29-6 season and a 13-3 Big East record. Carey garnered Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2014, when he guided the Mountaineers to a school-record 30-5 season and a 16-2 conference record.

“I want to thank Mike for 21 years of dedication to this University. He was willing to take over our program at a difficult time in its history and made it nationally competitive,” Director of Athletics Shane Lyons said. “Mike and I have had several discussions prior to this season about continuing to lead our program in the future, and each time he wanted to wait and be patient to make sure that was what he wanted to do, so I know he has been thinking about this for quite some time.

“He has been coaching for almost 40 years, and his decision comes down to wanting to spend time with his family and enjoying life away from the rigors of coaching major college basketball. I am appreciative of his work and want nothing but the best for him. He has raised the bar for our women’s basketball program, and I am excited for him and the future of our team.”

Carey is the all-time winningest coach in WVU women’s basketball history with a 447-239 record (.652) and has compiled an overall record of 735-341 (.683), counting 13 seasons as men’s coach at Salem where he went 288-102 (.738).

At West Virginia, he won a Big 12 Conference regular-season title in 2014 and a tournament championship in 2017. In his 21 seasons at WVU, he coached 10 players who earned 20 All-America honors, 74 all-conference performers, 10 WNBA players and 20 Mountaineers who eclipsed 1,000 career points.

Carey’s WVU teams defeated 45 ranked opponents, including seven in the Top 10, and were ranked a combined 131 weeks during his tenure. He took over a WVU program that was 5-22 the year before and immediately won 50 games in his first three seasons including a 21-win season and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in year three. He had 14 seasons of 20 or more wins, including the 30-5 school-record season in 2014.
West Virginia women’s basketball has reached the postseason 19 times, with 16 of those appearances coming under Carey’s leadership. Eleven of WVU’s 13 NCAA appearances have come under Carey, and he finishes his WVU career with 18 winning seasons out of 21 campaigns.

Lyons will begin a national search for Carey’s replacement immediately.

The Mike Carey Years at West Virginia: 2001-2022

Year Overall Record Conf. Record
2001-02 14-14 6-10
2002-03 15-13 4-12
2003-04 21-11 10-6
2004-05 21-13 7-9
2005-06 15-16 4-12
2006-07 21-11 11-5
2007-08 25-8 12-4
2008-09 18-15 5-11
2009-10 29-6 13-3
2010-11 24-10 8-8
2011-12 23-9 11-5
2012-13 17-14 9-9
2013-14 30-5 16-2
2014-15 23-15 7-11
2015-16 25-10 12-6
2016-17 24-11 8-10
2017-18 25-12 8-10
2018-19 22-11 11-7
2019-20 17-12 7-11
2020-21 22-7 13-5
2021-22 15-15 7-11
Total 447-239 (.652) 189-168 (.529)


Gold Member
Aug 5, 2009
I've seen like 5 WVU women's games and 1 of those was against UCLA in WNIT final 2015 in Charleston Civic Center. Other than that only thing I have known about them is what I read here.


Nov 25, 2011