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Faustin leaving Niagara for Ferris State

Niagara University is on the search for a new women’s basketball coach after Kendra Faustin on Thursday left to become head coach at Division II Ferris State University.

Faustin compiled a record of 77-169, a winning percentage of just .313, during eight seasons as Niagara coach. The Purple Eagles went 14-17 last season and finished sixth out of 11 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Niagara’s women’s program has posted 10 straight losing seasons.

Nevertheless, Faustin was well-liked by the Niagara administration during her tenure, and her teams excelled in the classroom. The 2007-08 team was ranked 13th on the Academic Top 25 Honor Roll with a 3.361 cumulative team GPA. The program’s cumulative team GPA exceeded 3.0 in each of Faustin’s eight seasons leading the program.

“It is with very mixed emotions that we say goodbye to Kendra,” said Niagara President the Rev. James J. Maher, in a statement. “Her leadership was evident not only in the athletic arena, but also campus wide. She built a program that is very competitive athletically, and whose academic performance is among the best of any team in the country.

“Kendra has really formed the young women in our Catholic and Vincentian mission. While we will miss her at NU, we know that she is excited about having the opportunity to coach in her home state, and to be close to her family.”

Ferris State is in Big Rapids, Mich. Faustin is a native of Hartland, Mich., and played at Michigan’s Lake Superior State, in the same conference as Ferris State.

“While I have been blessed to be the head coach at Niagara University, the opportunity to coach at Ferris State University in my home state of Michigan and in the league that I began my collegiate career is a tremendous one for myself and our family,” Faustin said. “I cannot begin to put into words how much my time at Niagara has meant to me. I am extremely proud of what we have built and accomplished over the last eight years.”

Faustin took over a rebuilding job and went 8-22 her first year and 3-28 her second. Since then her teams finished fifth, 10th, fifth, fifth, seventh and sixth in the MAAC. She was MAAC coach of the year in 2010. This year’s finish was a bit of a disappointment because Niagara returned six seniors.

The Purple Eagles will return just three of their top eight scorers from last year’s team. Four departees graduated. Guard Sylvia Maxwell, the fifth leading scorer, transferred to George Mason. Leading scorer Victoria Rampado returns, along with No. 4 scorer Taylor McKay and promising sophomore forward Kaylee Stroemple.

email: mgaughan@buffnews.com