BELTON-Mark Morefield is out as the head coach of the UMHB women’s basketball program, as was reported by multiple news outlets Thursday afternoon, and confirmed by True To The Cru via a UMHB spokesperson.
Morefield had been the program’s head coach since 2015, and in the midst of ASC play, the Crusaders, ranked No. 22 in the nation by D3hoops.com, were 13-4 overall. UMHB is currently second in the ASC standings and has won its last two contests.
Kendra Foreman will serve as UMHB’s interim head coach, according to a UMHB spokesperson.
Morefield was 159-50 in his eighth year as head coach of the Crusaders, having led the program to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2019, 2020, and 2022.
True To The Cru has confirmed an earlier report from Cory Hogue of Dave Campbell’s Texas Basketball, which stated Morefield’s termination as head coach “could be the result of an incident that occurred during a team practice in November.” In that incident, during a rebounding drill, a UMHB player sustained a season-ending injury when rolled upon by one of her teammates. Out of frustration for the injury and watching his player’s season abruptly ended after a strong summer, Morefield used expletives when addressing the team as to why the injury should not have occurred. “Unacceptable language” was the reason given to Morefield at the time of his termination on Tuesday.
UPDATE: Morefield forwarded the following statement to members of the media on Thursday.
“My coaching intensity to build a consistent championship program did not align with the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. It was not my finest moment and out of character. My emotions got the best of me due to a player who had just torn her ACL moments prior in practice. I was hurting for that player because of the hard work she had put in to have a successful season. The next day before practice I apologized to the team for my out of character moment and explained why I was upset. This does not excuse my actions, and I apologize to everyone affected. I wish the team the best as they finish out the season. I hope to build another program in the near future.”
UPDATE: Morefield gave the following statement exclusively to Dave Campbell’s Texas Basketball on Friday.
“On November 10, 2023, a player had her season ended due to an injury sustained in practice. After watching the recently released video, I realized that I allowed my frustration with the injury to get the best of me, and I took my frustration out on the team. I have high expectations for myself and my players, and my actions did not live up to those standards. Before practice the next day, I apologized to the team for my conduct the previous day and explained that I did not properly control my emotions given the situation. This does not excuse my actions, and I apologize to all those affected. I wish Mary Hardin-Baylor the best of luck, and I hold no ill will toward the players, the university, or the community. I truly loved my time in Belton. I will learn from my mistakes and strive to communicate better with my players in the future.”
UMHB had no further comment as of Friday afternoon. This article will be updated as further information becomes available.