auburnlsu.011918 HS 098.JPG

LSU women's basketball coach Nikki Fargas watches her team during a game against Auburn on Jan. 18, 2018, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

WASHINGTON — LSU women’s basketball coach Nikki Fargas will return for the 2019-20 season, athletic director Joe Alleva said Friday before tipoff of the LSU men’s NCAA East regional semifinal against Michigan State.

Alleva also said Tennessee has not contacted him to request a chance to speak with Fargas for its vacant head coaching job. Tennessee fired Holly Warlick on Wednesday after seven seasons.

Fargas was a player under Pat Summitt at Tennessee from 1990-94 and a Tennessee assistant from 2002-08.

Fargas, who just completed her eighth season at LSU, missed the NCAA tournament for the second time in four years but just the second time in her eight seasons in Baton Rouge overall.

The Lady Tigers went 16-13 overall and 7-9 in Southeastern Conference play this season. LSU declined consideration for a WNIT bid.

Fargas, 46, is 148-106 at LSU and 66-62 in conference play. Her teams have made a pair of Sweet 16 appearances, but the Lady Tigers have not won an NCAA tournament game since their last regional semifinal appearance in 2014.

The LSU Board of Supervisors in October approved a three-year contract extension for Fargas through 2022, but without a raise from her previous $700,000-per-year compensation.

LSU had only one senior on last season’s team, returning virtually its entire roster, including All-SEC forward Ayana Mitchell.

The Lady Tigers have signed two players for the 2019-20 season: five-star guard Tiara Young of Walker, the 2019 Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year; and Domonique Davis, a four-star point guard from DeRidder.

Fargas became a head coach in 2008 at UCLA. She coached the Bruins for three seasons, going 72-26 (.735) with a pair of NCAA appearances, showing vast improvement along the way. Her final two teams at UCLA won 53 games and finished second in the Pac-12 Conference.

LSU lured Fargas back to her Southern roots in 2011 to replace Van Chancellor, who was forced into retirement after going 59-34 with two NCAA appearances after leading the Lady Tigers to their last Final Four appearance in 2008.

Fargas' first LSU team reached the SEC tournament final, losing to Tennessee. LSU then went 1-1 in the NCAA tournament to finish 23-11 — its best record under Fargas.

LSU went 22-12 and 21-13 under Fargas the next two seasons, reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 before losing to California and Louisville, respectively. In each of her first three seasons, LSU played the first two rounds at home before heading to back-to-back regional semifinals.

After that early success, Fargas’ teams have not been able to recapture it. They went 0-3 in NCAA appearances in 2015, 2017 and 2018, all on the road.

LSU has never finished higher than fourth in the SEC regular-season standings under Fargas.


Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.​