NEW BRITAIN - The CCSU womenâ€™s basketball team lost its fifth straight game on Saturday afternoon, and head coach Beryl Piper was still absent from the teamâ€™s bench.
Piper, who was in the midst of her 13th season as the Blue Devils head coach, has been on administrative leave since Jan. 16, while assistant coach Kerri Reaves has been handling head coaching duties for the past eight games. CCSU is 1-7 over that span.
â€śSheâ€™s on an administrative leave while we do an assessment of the womenâ€™s program,â€ť CCSU interim athletic director Tom Pincince told The Herald.
Pincince said there was no specific instance that prompted the move to put Piper on administrative leave nearly a month ago, when the Blue Devils were off to a 1-15 start and were winless in conference play. Piperâ€™s group went 7-21 last season, including 4-14 against conference opponents.
â€śI think we just wanted to take a step back and look at everything,â€ť Pincince said. â€śJust to see how everyone was doing and where we were going as a program. Weâ€™ll take this time to see whatâ€™s the best move for us.â€ť
Pincince said there was no timetable for a decision on Piperâ€™s return. The 1987 CCSU graduate currently holds a record of 150-225 during her time as head coach for the Blue Devils. She is the programâ€™s winningest womenâ€™s basketball coach of the Division-I era.
Piper has led CCSU to five NEC Tournament semifinals appearances, the latest coming in 2017. Two of her teams made the WNIT, the latest back in 2015. During the 2015-16 season, she led the Blue Devils to a share of the NEC regular season crown, the first in program history. She also coached at New Britain High School and was inducted into the Connecticut Womenâ€™s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.