PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Jeff Judkins, the winningest basketball coach in BYU history, men or women has decided to retire after 21 seasons at the helm.
Judkins led the Cougars women’s basketball team to a 456-204 overall record, and took BYU teams to the NCAA Tournament 10 times, reaching the Sweet 16 twice. He also led his teams to five WNIT postseason appearances. Judkins won five conference regular-season championships and four postseason crowns.
“I’ve loved my years here,” Judkins said in a statement. “The program is in a good place and it’s a good time for me,” Judkins said. “I have so many great memories of BYU. I’ve loved the people, the players, the coaches and everyone here at BYU. We turned this program into a consistent winner that wins conference championships and goes to the tournament on a regular basis. We’ve had great players and historic wins but more importantly it has been the people and the relationships that I have loved and will remember the most. I’ve been lucky to be able to do something that I’ve loved so much for as long as I have.”
Judkins was named the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 2022, and won Coach of Year honors six times in his career. BYU set a program record with 25 wins in the 2022 regular season and also achieved a No. 15 ranking in the Associated Press Top-25, the highest mark in school history. The Cougars also spent a school-record 16-consecutive weeks in the AP Poll.
This past season, the Cougars went 25-2 and earned its highest seed ever in the NCAA Tournament. But the 6th-seeded Cougars lost in the first round to Villanova, 61-57.
“Jeff Judkins has had an illustrious career in basketball,” said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe. “From his high school days at Highland High School, to starring at the University of Utah, to his time in the NBA and finishing off with 21 years as head coach of the BYU Women’s Basketball Team, Juddy has accomplished so much. His record of wins, championships, great players he’s mentored and great teams he’s led will long be remembered. Jeff loved his players, and they loved him.”
Judkins coached eight conference players of the year, eight All-Americans, 63 players who earned all-conference honors and 102 players who earned academic awards.
Prior to coming to BYU, Judkins coach for 10 seasons under Rick Majerus as an assistant coach for the men’s team at the University of Utah. He also served as an assistant coach for the BYU women’s team for one season, before taking over the head-coaching spot.
Judkins played for Utah from 1974-78, leading the Utes to one conference championship and two NCAA Tournament appearances. He was a second-team Academic All-American, a three-time District VII academic selection and a three-time First Team All-WAC honoree.
Judkins was drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics in 1978, the same year the Celtics selected Larry Bird with the sixth pick overall. He went on to play for the Celtics, Portland Trailblazers, Detroit Pistons and Utah Jazz.
Some top candidates to replace Judkins include BYU assistant Lee Cummard and Utah Valley head coach Dan Nielson. BYU is set to join the Big 12 Conference in the Fall of 2023.