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 Friday, November 15, 2002 18:13 EST

Courage won 2002 WUSA title with McDermott at helm

[ESPN.com news services]

MORRISVILLE, N.C. -- Marcia McDermott, the head coach of the 2002 WUSA champion Carolina Courage, has declined the WUSA's offer to exercise the option year of her contract to pursue other interests.

McDermott, the only female head coach in the WUSA during its first two seasons, compiled an all-time record of 20-17-7. McDermott holds the WUSA record for wins in a season (12).

"It was an extremely hard decision," said McDermott. "I really enjoyed coaching this team and working with this coaching staff, but the timing is right in my life to step away from coaching. I am grateful to the WUSA and the Carolina Courage for the opportunity to coach at this level. It has been an unbelievable experience to work in this league, and I am proud of what we accomplished."

McDermott guided the Carolina Courage from a last place finish in 2001 to the 2002 regular season title and its first Founders Cup championship.

"It was a humbling experience to work with the players on this team," she said. "They are among the best in the world as people and players."

"This is a positive change in my life. Coaching soccer has afforded me so many great opportunities to develop. I feel ready for new challenges and opportunities."

The Courage will begin its search for a replacement immediately.

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