RICHLAND -- Kristen Davis took over as Richland girls basketball coach in May 2009, hoping to bring some stability back to a Bombers program that had been rocked by a federal lawsuit.
But Richland's program was thrown back into a state of turmoil when Davis abruptly resigned Wednesday evening after just one season.
"She came in at 5:40 p.m., right at the beginning of practice and gave a one-sentence resignation: I wish to resign my position as girls basketball coach," said Bombers athletic director Mike Edwards, who stepped in Wednesday after Davis left to complete the Bombers' practice.
Davis, who coached at Southridge for five seasons from 2004-09, was 16-10 in her only season at Richland and led the team to the 4A Eastern Regional tournament. As a player, Davis (nee Willis) led Kamiakin to four straight state appearances from 1993-96.
Edwards could not reveal specific details about the events that brought on the young coach's resignation, but he was very concerned about the state of the girls basketball team following the news.
"This was our third coach (to resign) in four years. We're just trying to build a stable program," he said. "This is the world we live in right now. My concern right now is that we offer the best thing for our kids."
Edwards confirmed meeting with lawyers representing Richland School District regarding the events.
"There's tons of rumors flying around out there," Edwards said. "It's obviously a very emotional situation when you do that kind of thing."
Davis did not return phone messages from the Tri-City Herald.
Edwards said the team will continue to function under assistant principal Jerry Riggs, who played basketball at Mabton and later coached at Sunnyside High School. But the school will undergo an immediate search for a new coach.
"Right now the position is open, and we're looking for qualified candidates," Edwards said.
In May of 2009, a federal lawsuit was filed -- and later dropped -- against the Richland School District and coach Bruce Robertson alleging that they violated players' civil and constitutional rights. The district and outside investigators found that the allegations were without merit.
Robertson, who coached the girls team for two seasons from 2007-2009, was sympathetic to Davis' plight but was not very surprised by the latest news.
"No. Not in the least," said Robertson, who resigned in April of 2009. "I understand what she's going through. Not many people have an idea where she's at, but I do.
"I wish people understood that we're out to help the players, not to damage them."
Cindy McCoy preceded Robertson as coach, leading Richland to a 129-31 record in six seasons before resigning in April of 2007.