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(Richmond, VA) - Virginia Union University's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Wellness has launched a national search to replace former head women's basketball coach AnnMarie Gilbert, who left to become head coach at Detroit Mercy.annemarie gilbertGilbert

“AnnMarie Gilbert was our first choice because of her depth of experience as a head coach at Division I, Division II and Division III and is an excellent recruiter,” athletic director Robert Vowels said. “She has done a terrific job as head coach at Virginia Union, Eastern Michigan and Oberlin and as an assistant coach at Michigan State."

"We wish Coach Gilbert all the best as she joins the Division I University of Detroit Mercy athletics program," said Joe Taylor, VP of Intercollegiate Athletics and Wellness at VUU. "We thank her for her valuable contributions to our athletics program,"

During Gilbert's five seasons at VUU, she guided the Lady Panther basketball program back to national prominence. The 2018 and 2019 CIAA championships were the first back-to-back titles for VUU since 1981 and 1982. Her teams won three CIAA titles in five years.

Gilbert went 135-18 at Virginia Union in five seasons, including a Division II national title game appearance in 2017.

She replaces coach Bernard Scott, whose contract was not renewed last month. Scott coached for five seasons, finishing with a 42-109 record.

Assistant Coach Danielle Dawson will serve as VUU's interim head coach, effective immediately.

"Our women's basketball program has enjoyed outstanding success, both academically and athletically, under Coach Gilbert's leadership. I extend my thanks and appreciation for her many contributions," said Athletic Director Felecia Johnson. "Coach Dawson will help us build on that success as our team prepares for next season."

Gilbert's hiring cements a strong connection between Detroit Mercy and HBCUs. Athletics director Vowels formally served as commissioner of the SWAC and SIAC and the school hired Mike Davis from Texas Southern two years ago to become its head men's basketball coach.

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