VALDOSTA, Ga. – Valdosta State Athletic Director Herb Reinhard announced Wednesday, Lady Blazer head women's basketball coach Carley Kuhns has been named head coach at Samford University, a NCAA Division I member of the Southern Conference.
"I am pleased for Carley because the Samford job is a great opportunity," Reinhard said. "Carley has revitalized our Lady Blazer basketball program. While I am disappointed that she will not continue at Valdosta State, I know she will represent VSU tremendously in her new role. I can speak for all Blazer fans when I say we wish her the best."
Kuhns just finished her third year at the helm of the Lady Blazers. She went 66-29 overall and 44-18 in Gulf South Conference play. Kuhns guided VSU to the Gulf South Conference title in 2017 for the program's first title since 1984. The 22 wins in 2017 marked the first 20-plus win season since 2011 and the Lady Blazers made the program's first NCAA Tournament since 2010.
In 2017-18, her second year in Titletown, she led the team to a 23-9 record and a NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen berth. This season, the team finished 21-10 and upset top-seeded Union in the conference tournament semifinals, before losing to Lee in the conference tournament final.
Kuhns, who was a standout for the Lady Blazers and a 2015 Blazer Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, came back to VSU after a six-year stint as an assistant coach at Division I Belmont University.
For her career at VSU as a student-athlete from 2004-2008, she constructed her Hall of Fame career becoming the first Lady Blazer since 2001 to be named a Kodak/State Farm WBCA Honorable Mention All-American, as she finished with 1,133 points for 16th-most in program history and was a two-time first team all-league performer. Her 262 career 3-pointers earned the sharpshooter ownership of the school record and she is fifth all-time in GSC history in career triples.
She will replace former Samford head coach Mike Morris, who announced his retirement after 17 years as head coach of the women's basketball program.
"I would like to thank Valdosta State University for three more amazing years," Kuhns said. "It's been an honor and a privilege to coach at my alma mater as the women's basketball coach. President Carvajal, Mr. Reinhard, the staff, fans and especially the student-athletes have been remarkable to work with. I want to thank you for all of the support you have given to our program and my family over the last three years. My hope when I returned to Valdosta State was to get women's basketball back on top of the Gulf South Conference and our players, staff and administration gave everything they had day-in and day-out to do so. I hope to have left this program and our players in a better place than when we got here. VSU will always have special place in my heart."
A national search for Kuhns' replacement will begin immediately.