South Florida women’s basketball coach Betsy Harris has resigned

Moccasins assistant coach Megan Dzikas will replace the veteran coach in the 2022-23 season.

The three-time Sunshine State Conference coach of the year has stepped down.

South Florida women’s basketball coach Betsy Harris announced she is stepping down to take the head coaching job at East Central College in Decatur, Mississippi, a school that is just down the street from her mother’s home and will allow her to help care for her family.

Harris’ replacement as interim head coach will be assistant coach Megan Dzikas, who has been on Harris’ staff for the past three seasons. At the end of the 2022-23 season, a national search will be conducted for that head coaching position.

“I just appreciate the opportunity they gave me,” Harris said. “Pete Meyer was the AD who hired me, and I’m very grateful to him and Dr. (Ann B.) Kerr for believing in me and sticking with me.” . He is true to me and loyal to me.

“My parents always told me, ‘Make sure you leave everything the way it is or better.’ “

Harris was at the helm of a very successful division in South Florida. The Moccasins went 159-63 in his eight seasons as head coach, including six NCAA postseason appearances and an Elite Eight appearance in 2015-16.

During his career with the Moccasins, Harris coached five All-Americans, seven All-South Region and 13 All-SSC players.

South Florida also won back-to-back Sunshine State Conference titles in 2018 and 2019, and Harris earned WBCA South Region Coach of the Year honors in 2018-19. Two Moccasin players finished as the program’s all-time leading scorers: Camille Giardina, who is third with 1,929 points, and Anya Fuchs-Robertin, the eighth-leading scorer with 1,677.

“I’m just thankful for Lakeland, Polk County, our boosters, everybody at FSC,” he said. “They didn’t just support the program, they supported me and it’s kind of easy to leave because I’m leaving for family. But it’s also hard because everyone in this community accepted me, the school and everything. They were just nice to me And I will leave with many lasting friendships.”

Zikas will replace Harris

Dzikas said he was saddened by Harris’ departure, but happy to lead a familiar program.

“It’s unfortunate because Harris has done a great job leading this program and taking it to another level,” he said. “I’m very excited to take over. This is an opportunity. Thank you to Dr. Drew Howard and Jill Stephens for this opportunity. I’m excited. We’re going to hit the ground running.”

South Florida’s new head coach knows success. The Bradenton native was a four-year standout guard at South Florida before graduating in 2012, finishing with 1,368 points, 12th in program history. He also ranks second in school history with 515 assists. Among other honors, Harris was a two-time All-SSC student-athlete and helped South Florida to an 87-31 record and a 49-9 record in league play.

Zikas has been a member of the Moccasin coaching staff since the 2019-2019 season, helping the team to a 44-31 record in SSC play over those three seasons.

The goals of Zikas are simple. “We will continue to be successful,” he said. Our goal has always been to be number 1. It continues the tradition of success.”

Harris said he thinks Zikas will do a sensational job. “I think Megan will do great,” he said. “Megan was very loyal to me, and she’s very loyal to the program and the school … Of course, she played there (and) graduated from there.

He is ready to become a head coach. He was actually an instructor at a college (St. Catherine’s College) before it ended. So he knows what it takes to develop, own and maintain a successful program. There are many good players. I’ll be back, new players.”

Next season (2022-23), Florida Southern returns six starters while bringing seven newcomers to the program.

“We’re excited about our incoming class, but we’re also excited about our depth,” Dzikas said. We will still play fast. We’ll still be doing three-player shooters.

Our defense has always been a staple. Our high-powered offense had a lot of credit. But I think our defense didn’t get much credit. We continue to play fast, play defense.”

The Moccasins finished 20-10 last season after advancing to the NCAA Division II regional quarterfinals.

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