Maine fires coach Cindy Blodgett

ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine fired women's basketball coach Cindy Blodgett on Tuesday, four years after she returned to coach at the campus where she was a hoops star.

While at Maine from 1994 to 1998, Blodgett took the team to the NCAA tournament four times and was the nation's scoring leader two straight years.

The team struggled under her leadership as coach, posting a 25-94 record over four years -- including 4-25 this season.

Maine athletic director Steve Abbott said the university owes her a debt of gratitude.

"Cindy has been a very important person in the history of Maine basketball," he said. "She's been our best player. She's been a hardworking, determined coach. She's recruited terrific students and some very good athletes. But the performance of the team has not been what anybody hoped for, especially her."

Last September, the university renewed her contract for two years. Under terms of the agreement, she'll be paid one year's salary of $109,772 to terminate the contract.

In high school, Blodgett earned the honor of Miss Maine Basketball. And after finishing at Maine, she was the No. 6 pick in the WNBA draft and played with the Cleveland Rockers and Sacramento Monarchs. She later played overseas and served as an assistant coach at Boston University and at Brown.

"Cindy is a young coach with some incredible skills. This is a bump in the road in her career that none of us would have wanted for her, but she's going to be successful," Abbott said.