APPLETON, Wis. -- Lawrence University women's basketball coach Ashley Wellman will step down at the end of the season, athletic director Christyn Abaray announced today.
Wellman is leaving the school for family reasons as her husband, Tyler, was named the new offensive line coach for the football team at Aurora University, which is located in the Chicago suburbs. The Wellmans have been balancing a pair of careers with Ashley coaching at Lawrence and Tyler serving as offensive coordinator at Lakeland.
"We are saddened to know Ashley will be leaving us after this season," Abaray said. "It is an exciting and well-deserved opportunity for Tyler and their family so we wish them well and know that the future is bright for the Wellmans. We are building something here thanks to Ashley's effort and are incredibly grateful for her heading us in the right direction."
A national search for Wellman's successor will begin after the season, Abaray said.
"The timing of this decision is very bittersweet for me since our team has been making great strides this season to be a competitive program within the Midwest Conference," Wellman said. "However, I am confident that the future of our women's basketball program is extremely bright due to the leadership and perseverance of our current senior class and the talent and determination of our returning players next season.
"I want to thank (former Director of Athletics) Mike Szkodzinski for first believing in me and allowing me to pursue my dreams of being a head coach at the college level and also Christyn Abaray for allowing me to continue rebuilding the women's basketball program under her leadership the last two seasons."
This is Wellman's fifth season at Lawrence, and the Vikings are seeing a resurgence in their program. Starting from scratch with the Vikings in the 2013-14 season, Wellman has built the team into a competitive squad in the Midwest Conference.
Lawrence has already won more games this season than any year since the 2006-07 campaign. Although Lawrence has a modest 6-13 record thus far, it is evident the Vikings have taken a big step forward during the 2017-18 season. The Vikings have continued to improve this season and are now 4-4 since returning from the holiday break with victories over Illinois College, Monmouth College, Beloit College and Grinnell College.
Wellman came to Lawrence in April 2013 after serving as the assistant women's basketball coach at Alma College. A Michigan native, Wellman is a 2008 graduate of Alma and was a star player for the Scots. Wellman was a three-time All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association selection during her career, scoring more than 1,100 points and grabbing more than 500 rebounds.
"Lawrence will always hold a special place in my heart, and I am very grateful for the opportunity I have had to work with such great people across campus, in our community and especially in our athletic department," Wellman said.
The Vikings return to action Tuesday when they play a Midwest Conference game against Cornell College.