Denver assistant Haave hired at San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- The University of San Francisco hired Denver assistant Tanya Haave as the school's new women's basketball coach Friday.

Haave, a three-year starter during her playing career at Tennessee from 1980-84, was an assistant coach at Denver last season following four years as an assistant at Colorado.

She becomes the seventh head coach at USF and replaces Mary Hile-Nepfel, who resigned last month after 19 seasons coaching her alma mater.

"I'm really excited to be a head coach, especially in a place like San Francisco," Haave said. "Meeting the players during the interview process, it was clear that the cupboard is not bare. There is a good core group. Knowing this is a program with some tradition, it's important to get back to competing for conference championships and advancing to the NCAA Tournament."

Hile-Nepfel is the winningest coach in the program's history, going 270-264 and reaching three straight NCAA Tournaments from 1995-97.

But the Dons have endured four straight losing seasons, including a 9-20 mark last season after an overtime loss to Santa Clara in the West Coast Conference tournament semifinals, and eight losing records in the last nine years.