Bronx, NY (March 8, 2006) – Fordham University head women’s basketball coach Jim Lewis today announced his retirement from head coaching.  Lewis, who just completed his sixth season as the head coach for the Rams, plans to pursue other options in and out of coaching.

“Jim Lewis is a tremendous person who brought an unbelievable wealth of basketball knowledge to Fordham,” said Fordham Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation Frank McLaughlin.  “We wish him nothing but the best in all his future endeavors.”

Lewis led the Rams to a 10-18 overall record this winter, 5-11 in the Atlantic 10.  His career record at Fordham is 56-118 over the past six years.  In 20 years as a collegiate head coach, Lewis notched a 257-295 record, serving as the head coach at George Mason from 1984-1998.

Under Coach Lewis, Fordham players have received high recognition by the Atlantic 10 coaches with Mobolaji Akiode and Monica Mack receiving the Atlantic 10 Most Improved Player Award in 2003 and 2004, respectively, with Akiode being named Second Team All-Conference and Mack being named to the Third Team.  This past season, Jada Jefferson and Lisa Carrol were named Second Team All-Atlantic 10.

Prior to arriving at Fordham, Lewis, 59, served as the Washington Mystics’ head coach in 1997-98, the first two years of operation for that WNBA franchise.

Prior to his stretch with the Mystics, Lewis compiled a 201-177 record over 14 seasons as the winningest head coach, men’s or women’s, in George Mason University history. At George Mason, Lewis led the Patriots to eight winning seasons, including an appearance in the 1997 Preseason WNIT.

Lewis began his 36-year coaching career as an assistant coach of men’s basketball at Tennessee State University in 1969-70, who finished as the Division II National Champion runner-up. He then served as assistant men’s coach in 1970-71 at Gannon College, and moved on to Duke University where he served as assistant men’s basketball coach from 1971-76. Lewis was then assistant men’s coach at Tulane University from 1976-81.

Before his coaching career, Lewis was a four-year basketball letter winner at West VirginiaUniversity, competing in two NCAA Tournaments and one NIT, and earned his degree in journalism. During the 2004-05 season, his 1964-65 freshman class was honored at West Virginiafor breaking the color barrier at the University. Following graduation, he began his graduate work at the Universityof  Detroitand went on to earn his master’s degree in physical education at TennesseeState.

A national search for Lewis’ successor will begin immediately.