The NCAA Division III basketball world was shocked on Tuesday when news leaked that Mark Morefield was no longer women’s basketball coach at Mary Hardin-Baylor. While the university has not released a statement regarding the situation, sources indicated the removal could have resulted from an incident during a November practice.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Basketball has since confirmed that the incident was the cause for Morefield’s dismissal. Thursday, a video of the incident was leaked on social media. The video shows an irate Morefield addressing the team using multiple instances of foul language while referring to the players as “frauds” on numerous occasions during the rant. Morefield also stated the injury to the player was the result of a “b---- a-- move” that would “get you knocked out on the playground.”
The video showed Morefield’s reaction to the team following the injury and did not show how the injury occurred. Multiple former players have since come forward since the news surfaced in support of and against Morefield. At present, no allegations have surfaced of physical contact between Morefield and any player during his tenure with the Crusaders.
Morefield released the following statement exclusively to Dave Campbell’s Texas Basketball on Friday morning.
“On November 10, 2023, a player had her season ended due to an injury sustained in practice. After watching the recently released video, I realized that I allowed my frustration with the injury to get the best of me, and I took my frustration out on the team. I have high expectations for myself and my players, and my actions did not live up to those standards. Before practice the next day, I apologized to the team for my conduct the previous day and explained that I did not properly control my emotions given the situation. This does not excuse my actions, and I apologize to all those affected. I wish Mary Hardin-Baylor the best of luck, and I hold no ill will toward the players, the university, or the community. I truly loved my time in Belton. I will learn from my mistakes and strive to communicate better with my players in the future.”
Morefield was named Crusaders' head coach in 2015 and turned the program into a perennial winner. He led UMHB to its first NCAA Division III postseason appearance in program history in 2019. The Cru returned to the postseason in 2020 after winning the American Southwest Conference and advanced to the Sectional round (Sweet 16) before the CoVID-19 pandemic shut down the tournament.
UMHB returned to the playoffs in 2021 following another ASC tournament victory and again made an appearance in the Sectional round. The Cru returned to the Sectionals in Overall, Morefield finished his tenure in Belton with a 146-46 overall record and led the Cru to one of the top two seeds in the ASC tournament for the first time in program history. UMHB was 6-2 in NCAA postseason action under Morefield.
Kendra Foreman is serving as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. The Cru is currently 13-5 overall and 8-3 in the American Southwest Conference following a 67-61 loss at home to East Texas Baptist Thursday.