Women's Basketball

Former coach Joe Curl dies at 59

Joe Curl, the most accomplished women’s basketball coach in UH history, passed away Monday morning after a lengthy battle with heart issues. Curl, 59, died of congestive heart failure near the Houston Medical Center, according to Fox 26.

He has needed a transplant since he suffered a heart attack in 2007. Curl retired three years later, after his condition worsened. Though he underwent a procedure last August to insert a heart pump, Curl had been on the transplant list for more than a year.

Curl coached the team for 12 seasons, compiled a 193-167 record and became the longest tenured and most successful coach in the program’s history.

In 2003-04, Curl led the Cougars to the most wins in school history with 28 wins, championships in the Conference USA game and tournament and an appearance and win in the NCAA tournament for the first time. The Cougars earned a 62-47 victory against Green Bay in the first round of the Big Dance. Curl recorded seven winning seasons and led the Cougars to five postseason appearances.

After the record-breaking season in 2004, Curl was named C-USA Coach of the Year and received National Coach of the Year honors from The Associated Press, United States Basketball Writers Association, ESPN.com and The Basketball Times.

“Today we mourn the loss of Joe Curl, a dear member of the University. His family and friends are in our prayers and thoughts,” said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades in a statement. “Joe was a special member of our athletics family, serving not only as head coach, but as a mentor to many young women throughout the years.  His presence and larger than life personality will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him.”

Funeral services for Curl will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Rosewood Funeral Home at 3939 Pasadena Blvd. in Pasadena. Visitation will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday and will be preceded by a cookout honoring Curl beginning at noon. Dress for the event is casual.

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