Washington State head coach June Daugherty calls to her team during a game against Washington in 2016 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Washington State head coach June Daugherty calls to her team during a game against Washington in 2016 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Former UW, WSU women’s basketball coach Daugherty dies at 64

The Pacific Northwest icon suffered heart complications throughout her coaching career.

By Theo Lawson / The Spokesman-Review

June Daugherty, a longtime college women’s basketball coach in the Pacific Northwest who spent 22 years of her career directing the programs at Washington and Washington State, has died at the age of 64, The Spokesman-Review learned Wednesday.

Daugherty, who suffered from heart complications throughout her coaching career, was living at her home in Boise at the time of her death on Monday.

For the better part of three decades, Daugherty was a women’s basketball fixture in the Northwest, spending time as a head coach at Boise State (1989-96), Washington (1996-2007) and WSU (2007-18). Daugherty amassed a career win/loss record of 443-441 and went to the NCAA Tournament eight times.

During Daugherty’s 11th and final season with the Cougars, the coach took a medical leave of absence in January and never returned to the team’s bench. Not long after the school announced Daugherty wouldn’t return for the 2018-19 basketball season, WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun clarified his weekly radio show, “Cougs in 60,” that the coach’s departure was related to performance and not a response to her ongoing health complications.

While Daugherty was on sabbatical, her husband Mike, WSU’s longtime associate head coach, took over interim coaching duties. Mike Daugherty was also the associate head coach at both UW and Boise State during his wife’s coaching tenure at both schools.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Mike Daugherty labeled his wife as the “GOAT,” an acronym used to describe the “greatest of all time” and said “the world is a lesser place starting on Tuesday.”

“She was the GOAT because of the way she treated everyone,” Mike Daugherty wrote. “Those who knew her know how special and spectacular she was. She was the greatest mother, lover and friend. She cared for her family, my mother, her friends, my family, her players, and all who came into contact with her no matter how they treated her. She had zero intolerance except for those who were hateful and intolerant.”

The post continued: “I would like to thank all of you who have been in contact with me for your kind words and support. The world is a different place for me now. If you know Doc and Breanne please reach out to them. They are great caring people like their mother and this is an especially difficult time for them. I think it helps for them to know how many people their mother touched over the years. Love you all, Mike.”

In a letter printed in The Spokesman-Review following her retirement, Daugherty wrote “my health is improving and I am getting stronger every day. I thank you for the prayers, well-wishes and kindness that so many of you have taken the time to send my way.”

In Daugherty’s 11 years at WSU, the Cougars went 130-217 overall and 56-141 in Pac-12/10 Conference play. Although Dougherty never brought WSU back to the NCAA Tournament, she 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 with players such as Borislava Hristova and Chanelle Molina.

Daugherty’s tenure at WSU came after a successful 11-year stint on the other side of the state, where she compiled a record of 191-139 with the Huskies and went 113-85 in Pac-12/10 play, earning nine postseason berths with seven trips to the NCAA Tournament and one Elite Eight appearance in 2000-01.

Between Daugherty’s stints at UW and WSU, the longtime coach collapsed after suffering a heart attack according to KIRO-TV, and a spokesperson from Providence Everett Medical Center confirmed to The Associated Press she was in critical condition.

Daugherty earned her first head coaching job in 1989 at BSU, leading the Broncos to five winning seasons, an overall record of 122-75 and one appearance in the NCAA tournament, at the end the 1993-94 season. The Columbus, Ohio, native was an assistant coach at both Kent State (1983-85) and Stanford (1985-89) after her playing career at Ohio State finished in 1978.

Daugherty is survived by her husband, Mike, her two children, Doc and Breanne, along with her parents.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Tennessee Titans kicker Randy Bullock (14) celebrates with tight end Geoff Swaim (87) as Seattle Seahawks defensive back Ryan Neal (26) reacts after Bullock kicked a field goal in overtime to give the Titans a 33-30 win in an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seahawks blow 4th-quarter lead, fall to Titans in OT

Tennessee running back Derrick Henry ran for two 4th-quarter TDs to erase Seattle’s 14-point lead.

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) scores a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Seattle. The extra point was good and the score tied the game at 30-30. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Grading the Seahawks’ 33-30 overtime loss to the Titans

Seattle started strong but ultimately suffered its worst lost in recent memory after a 2nd-half collapse.

Marysville-Pilchuck’s Darren Johnson-Jones, left, tries to block a pass to Miguel Chavez, right, during football practice on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 in Marysville, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Football Game of the Week

Pick one of the high school football games we’ll cover this week.… Continue reading

AquaSox’s manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox season ends with rain out

Everett’s finished the season 61-56 and one spot out of the High-A West championship series.

Washington Huskies running back Sean McGrew runs the ball into the end zone for a touchdown during the game against Arkansas State on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in Seattle, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Huskies’ offense finally breaks out in win over Arkansas St.

Dylan Morris throws for 367 yards and three TDs as UW earns its much-needed first victory of the season.

Washington State quarterback Victor Gabalis throws a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Pullman, Wash. Southern California won 45-14. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Archbishop Murphy alum sees significant time at QB in WSU loss

Victor Gabalis fills in for the injured Jayden de Laura and completes 6-of-10 passes in a 45-14 defeat.

The Herald's prep football roundup. (Photo by Elaine Thompson)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 17

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 17: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) celebrates with wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) after a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Seahawks aim to continue success in home openers under Carroll

Seattle faces Tennessee on Sunday having won 12 straight home openers and 17 of 18 overall.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Saturday’s AquaSox-Indians game washed out

The game will not be made up and Sunday will stand as Everett’s last game of the season.

Most Read