University South Dakota athletic director David Sayler announced on Monday that Ryan Larsen has been named the interim women's basketball coach. Larsen, who has served as an assistant coach for the Coyotes the past four seasons, replaces Ryun Williams, who was named the head women's basketball coach at Colorado State on Monday.
The Coyotes will conduct an immediate national search for a new head coach.
Larsen has been an assistant coach under Williams the past four seasons, helping the Coyotes to a 76-47 mark and two postseason tournament appearances during that time. The 2011-12 campaign saw the Coyotes qualify for the WNIT for the first time ever as a Division I program, which was their second straight postseason berth. The Coyotes not only qualified for the event but also earned a pair of home games, including a 61-53 win over Drake in the opening round -- marking the second consecutive year South Dakota has won a postseason game.
This past season, the Coyotes ranked second nationally in blocks per game (7.3), eighth in field-goal defense (33.2) and 12th in scoring defense (52.3), leading the Summit League in all three categories. South Dakota beat seven teams that qualified for postseason tournaments in 2011-12, including three NCAA tournament-bound teams (South Dakota State, Creighton and Idaho State).
In 2010-11, the Coyotes advanced to the Women's Basketball Invitational postseason tournament for the first time, and earned their first-ever Division I postseason win with a 62-47 victory over Idaho.
South Dakota has averaged 19 wins per season the past four years while Larsen has been on the coaching staff.
Prior to coming to South Dakota, Larsen was an assistant men's basketball coach at Augustana from 2002-07, including serving as a recruiting coordinator for three seasons. He also was a member of the coaching staff at Minnesota State, Moorhead from 1999-02.
Larsen is a 2002 graduate of Minnesota State, Moorhead and earned his master's degree from Augustana in 2004.
Note: All summer girls basketball team and individual camps at South Dakota will go on as scheduled.