Utah State women’s basketball coach Kayla Ard announces she was fired in press conference

Kayla Ard and the Aggies women’s basketball team had just been beaten in the Mountain West Conference tournament.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at Utah State University in Logan on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.

Utah State’s first-round exit from the Mountain West women’s basketball tournament was only the precursor to the real story to come out of Las Vegas.

In her postgame interview, head coach Kayla Ard announced she had been fired.

“How do you plan to rebuild for next season?” Ard was asked.

“I’m not going to be rebuilding,” she replied. “I just coached my last game at Utah State. I spoke with [athletic director] Diana [Sabau] and they are going in a different direction. And I respect her decision and I hope they get a really good coach.”

Ard then turned to the moderator and said, “I’m assuming that is going to be the last question.”

She walked off the podium.

Shortly after, Utah State sent out a brief statement.

“We appreciate everything Kayla and her staff have contributed to Utah State,” Sabau said. “However, it is in the best interest of the program to make a change.”

Utah State went 5-24 this season, with only two conference wins. It lost to Boise State 85-49 on Sunday to finish out the year.

Ard was in Logan for four seasons, never winning more than 11 games. She had two four-win seasons, in 2020 and 2022.

In total, she finished her Utah State career 24-90. She only won 10 Mountain West games.

Ard had one more year left on her contract. The five-year deal paid her $215,000 per season.

— Tribune reporter Alex Vejar contributed to this story.

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