By Kathy Orton
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 9, 2008
George Washington women's basketball coach Joe McKeown is leaving for Northwestern, Athletic Director Jack Kvancz said yesterday. McKeown did not respond to messages left on his cellphone.
"He's done a great job," said Kvancz, who admitted he was surprised by McKeown's departure. "I thought he would stay here a long, long time."
McKeown's name had been mentioned in regard to past coaching vacancies, but the 52-year-old Philadelphia native remained at GW for 19 seasons and appeared inclined to finish his career there after signing a contract extension through 2014 last year. Though McKeown's departure was unexpected, he did indicate in a Washington Post story about his 500th career victory earlier this year that his family's welfare came before his career ambitions. McKeown's 13-year-old son, Joey, has autism. Three years ago McKeown interviewed for the women's basketball coaching vacancy at the University of California in part because there is a highly regarded school for autistic children nearby.
"I think my job right here is one of the top jobs in the country," McKeown said. "I've won enough games obviously where I've had enough success as a coach that it doesn't matter to me. I could coach CYO league. If that's a better place for our family, that's the most important thing."