STATE COLLEGE (AP) - Penn State coach Coquese Washington, the reigning Big Ten Coach of the Year, isn't going anywhere.
In a press conference alongside Acting Athletic Director Dave Joyner on Monday, Washington confirmed that she interviewed for the vacant head coaching position at Michigan last week. And she listened to their pitch.
Washington was an all-state player at Flint (Mich.) Central High and her father's house is 45 minutes away from Ann Arbor.
Coquese Washington discusses her decision to remain as Penn State's women's basketball coach during a press conference Monday at Penn State.
"Sometimes, to be sure of something you have to compare it," Washington said. "Penn State is the place for me. This is my home and I love it here."
Washington indeed will stay with the Nittany Lions, who went 26-7 last season. She did not comment on whether she was offered the Michigan job.
"Penn State and Coquese are going to have a long history together," Joyner said. "We're just so proud that she's here and she has continued her commitment to Penn State to lead this great university forward, particularly at this time in our history."
Joyner said he called the press conference to show "how firmly we continue to be committed to each other. "
In 2010, Washington signed a two-year extension through the 2013-14 season. Per university policy, terms of the contract were not released. Joyner and Washington have discussed her contract status, but no extensions are imminent.
Washington's departure would have been tough on the Lions, who are coming off their first Sweet 16 appearance and first regular-season Big Ten title since 2004. Penn State was a perennial Top 25 team under longtime coach Rene Portland, but slipped in the final few years of her tenure.
Enter Washington, a WNBA veteran and assistant on Muffet McGraw's staff at Notre Dame.
The Lions have increased their Big Ten win total in each season since Washington took over in 2007. Her up-tempo style has reinvigorated the program, which has gone 51-17 with back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances over the last two seasons.
And there's no sign of slowing down.
Penn State loses only one starter from last season's squad. The Lions will also add two McDonald's High School All-Americans to the mix - incoming freshman Candice Agee, a 6-foot-6 forward/center, and Dara Taylor, a transfer from Maryland who's eligible after sitting out last season.
"I love it here at Penn State, I really do." Washington said. "The decision to stay here at Penn State was really a simple one."
Washington had previously publicly expressed her commitment to the program. The coach has three young children and in an April 4 press conference said, "The Sweet 16 is nice, but I think we can do better.
"I think this program can do better, I think our players can do better, I think I can do better as a coach."
Penn State players and assistant coaches sat in the back row of the press room on Monday, and erupted into a soft applause after Washington's opening statement.
"We've done so many things together and that's my crew," Washington said. "I wanted to remain with them."