June Daugherty, the former Boise State, Washington and Washington State women’s basketball coach who led the Broncos to their first NCAA Tournament appearance, has died. She was 64.
Washington State said Daugherty died Monday at her Boise home.
A basketball fixture in the Northwest for nearly three decades, Daugherty was head coach at Boise State (1989-96), Washington (1996-2007) and Washington State (2007-18). She had a 443-441 record and went to the NCAA Tournament eight times.
Daugherty earned her first head coaching job in 1989 at Boise State, leading the Broncos to five winning seasons, an overall record of 122-75 and one appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
“Boise State Athletics is saddened to learn of June Daugherty’s passing. She was a mainstay in Pacific Northwest women’s basketball for more than a quarter century. She led the Bronco program for seven seasons, including its first NCAA postseason appearance,” according to a statement from the university. “June and her family returned to the Treasure Valley after her retirement. Basketball has lost a fantastic coach, the city a tremendous member of its community and Boise State a dear friend.”
In Daugherty’s 11 years at Washington State, the Cougars went 130-217 overall and 56-141 in league play. Daugherty ended a run of 17 straight losing seasons by going 17-17 in 2013-14 and had her first winning season one year later, going 17-15.
The Cougars went to the postseason three times under Daugherty, advancing as far as the semifinal round of the WNIT in 2016-17. But the Cougars did not reach the NCAA Tournament under Daugherty.
“The Washington State Family was saddened to hear of the passing of June and our heartfelt condolences go out to her husband Mike, and kids Doc and Bre,” said WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun in a statement. “June’s impact on women’s collegiate basketball in the Pacific Northwest is unmatched and we join the University of Washington and Boise State in recognizing all she did to grow the sport. Throughout her career, she fought tirelessly for her players, her teams and her community, and she will be missed.”
At Washington, she compiled a record of 191-139 in 11 seasons and went 113-85 in league play, earning nine postseason berths. That included seven trips to the NCAA Tournament, with one Elite Eight appearance in 2000-01.
The Columbus, Ohio, native was an assistant coach at Kent State (1983-85) and Stanford (1985-89) after her playing career at Ohio State ended in 1978.
Hall of Fame Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said she played against, coached with and coached against Daugherty.
“She was on my first staff at Stanford. June was a ‘people person’ as a coach, she was a great recruiter and an extremely positive person,” VanDerveeer said.
UCLA coach Cori Close recalled Daugherty as kind: “Just a really, really good human,” she said.
“I had the honor to be coached by June and coach alongside of her for almost 20 years, and while she was obviously an outstanding coach who won many games, more importantly she was fun, loving and a visionary leader and mentor who has made countless players and peers lives’ better,” said Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne.
Southern California coach Lindsay Gottlieb said Daugherty took time to mentor young coaches.
“I benefited from the time and effort she spent to lend me advice,” Gottlieb said. “Her influence on the Pac 12 Conference was vast, and she will be missed very, very much.”
The Pac-12 Conference said: “June Daugherty was a shining light in the Pac-12. She will be deeply missed.”
Daugherty is survived by her husband, Mike, who was her associate head coach at all three programs she ran, plus their two children and her parents.
In lieu of flowers, the family has created a Go Fund Me page, and all donations will be divided between three nonprofit organizations that “reflect June’s values and life.”
The Idaho Statesman’s Rachel Roberts contributed to this report.