PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Gulf Coast head women’s basketball coach Roonie Scovel announced she will be retiring after this season.

“I wanted to teach and coach and live at the beach so I kind of accomplished that goal then we just kind of put some wins and some graduation rates and completion rates,” Scovel said.

Scovel has led the team for 22 years. In that time, she has an overall record of 623-86, 18 conference championships, 12 regional titles and six national championships.


Scovel said the decision was mainly due to wanting to spend more time with family. She also said she hopes to help with the search committee on finding her successor.

“Roonie’s going out on the top of her game,” Gulf Coast president Dr. John Holdnak, “nobody’s better than Roonie Scovel there may be people that are as good but nobody will be better than Roonie’s been.”

Holdnak said the school will begin a national search for Scovel’s replacement and hope to have a new coach hired in the next couple of months.

“You know the caliber of coaching that we’re after is probably because of the legacy Roonie’s built we’re not looking for somebody that’s starting their career we’re looking for somebody that’s at the peak of their career,” Holdnak said.

Scovel said it’s going to be hard to leave her Gulf Coast family.

“You go to bed at night, ‘oh I’m gonna leave and then you wake up,’ and say I can do this another year and that emotional side of leaving the family more than anything is hard,” Scovel said. “But my dad once told me sometimes it takes more courage to leave then it does to stay and I’ve had to think about that a lot those words have been in my mind a lot lately.”

However, she will always support the Commodores.

“I’ll certainly always be a part of Gulf Coast,” Scovel said.