Illinois State fires Barb Smith after four seasons

NORMAL, Ill. -- Illinois State has fired women's basketball coach Barb Smith.

Athletic director Larry Lyons announced his decision Saturday after the Redbirds lost to Drake in the Missouri Valley tournament to conclude an 8-23 season.

When she arrived four years ago, Smith inherited a team that had strung together seven straight winning seasons. But the team went 28-93 during her tenure -- the worst four-year stretch in program history.

Lyons said the contracts of Smith's assistant coaches will not be renewed when they expire next month. He said a search for a new coach will begin immediately.