CLEVELAND, Ohio – Fifteen-year Cleveland State women's basketball head coach Kate Peterson Abiad has announced that she will be stepping down from her current position with the Vikings, and will be stepping away from collegiate basketball to focus on her family.
Peterson Abiad leaves the program as the all-time winningest coach in program history with 206 career victories.
"For the past 27 years of my life I have lived in the world of college athletics and women's basketball. I was afforded the opportunity to live out my dream of becoming a head collegiate basketball coach by Cleveland State University, and I am forever grateful for the chance they took, 15 years ago, on a young coach with aspirations of making a difference," Peterson Abiad said. "I have loved, and invested in, the development of many remarkable young women while coaching at Cleveland State. They are truly the reason I loved coaching, and I am indebted to them for the lessons they taught me, both on and off the court."
During Peterson Abiad's tenure the Vikings captured two Horizon League titles during the 2007-08 and 2009-10 seasons, marking the first championships in program history. Overall, Peterson Abiad led the Vikings to four postseason tournaments; NCAA (2008 & 2010), WNIT (2015) and WBI (2011).
Over the last 15 seasons, the Vikings have recorded six 19-win campaigns, including a 21-win season during 2010-11, which marked the second highest single-season win total in program history.
Peterson Abiad mentored 14 Vikings to postseason accolades over the course of her career, including Horizon League Player of the Year Kailey Klein (2008-09) and Horizon League Newcomers of the Year Klein (2006-07) and Ashanti Abshaw (2015-16). Thirteen players also joined the 1,000-point club over the last 15 seasons, including Klein who graduated as the Cleveland State scoring leader with 2,140 points.
During the 2015-16 season, Peterson Abiad saw one of her top recruits have their jersey retired, as Klein became the first Viking in program history to earn the honor, and just the fourth Cleveland State basketball player – men's or women's – to have their jersey retired.
"At this point in my life, I have decided that it is time for me to shift my focus to my own children, and the lifestyle necessary to be a successful college basketball coach does not allow me to do that in a manner that I desire. I am making the difficult decision to leave this profession that I love, so that I may experience more normalcy in my family life and be more involved as I watch my children grow. I am sincerely grateful to Cleveland State University for all of the opportunities and all of the memories over the last 15 seasons," Peterson Abiad said.
A 27-year coaching veteran, Peterson Abiad became the sixth head coach in program history on April 25, 2003. Prior to her arrival at Cleveland State, Peterson Abiad served as an assistant coach at Wisconsin (1997-02), Eastern Illinois (1993-97) and Indiana (1991-93).
"I fully support Kate's decision to step away from collegiate coaching and her desire to focus on her children and family and I wish her all the best in her future endeavors," Cleveland State Director of Athletics Mike Thomas said. "Throughout her time at Cleveland State, Kate guided the women's basketball program to a high-level of success, and the entire athletic department is thankful for her hard work and dedication to the Vikings over the last 15 seasons. As the saying goes, Once A Viking, Always A Viking, and I know that will be true for Kate.
Peterson Abiad's final day with the Vikings will be March 31, 2018, with current associate head coach Oties Epps being named interim head coach at that time.
A national search for the seventh head coach in program history will begin immediately.