Miami of Ohio women’s basketball coach steps down amid inappropriate relationship with a player: report

Miami of Ohio women’s basketball coach DeUnna Hendrix stepped down Wednesday. Her decision to resign comes after text messages showed the coach was in an inappropriate relationship with one of her players, according to a report from The Athletic.

Shortly after the university’s athletic department reportedly learned about 180 text messages during at 11-day span, Hendrix was suspended for an alleged inappropriate relationship between her and an unnamed player.

At least 30 of the messages contained wording considered “intimate.”


Basketball going through the hoop

A view of the ball going through the hoop during a Mid-American Conference women’s basketball game between the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks and the Toledo Rockets Jan. 25, 2023, at Savage Arena in Toledo, Ohio. (Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The university’s Title IX coordinator launched an investigation into the matter. After the university conducted a review, it was determined “that the matter did not constitute a violation of Title IX or the University’s sexual misconduct protocol,” according to a statement sent to The Athletic.


However, the review did show that the university had significant cause to move forward with the termination of Hendrix’s employment due to the violation of a policy that prohibits staff members from pursing or engaging in a consensual intimate relationship with undergraduate students. 

The violation of that policy is considered a breach of an employment contract. The school’s statement did stipulate that Hendrix had the right to a due process hearing.

Hendrix reportedly referenced a married couple in one of text exchanges, saying, “Doing this with you openly would be more than ideal.”

In a text dated April 9, Hendrix wrote, “TODAY IS THE DAYYYYYY that my girl returns to me,” and then notes that “the airport will be clear of Miami WBB employees.”

Coach DeUnna Hendrix hugs another coach

Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie (left) and High Point head coach DeUnna Hendrix (right) embrace before a game Nov. 16, 2017, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.  (Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Instead of going through the hearing process, Hendrix decided to step down. The university accepted her resignation April 26, and the team was informed of her departure the same day.

“I want to thank Miami University and its administration for allowing me to lead this program for the last four years,” Hendrix said in a statement on the university’s athletics website

“I can’t express the amount of gratitude I have for this prestigious institution and its leadership. I also want to thank the Oxford community for the continual love and support. I look forward to the next phase of my career and continue rooting for the RedHawks.”

Nike basketballs on the rack

Nike basketballs on a rack before the Xavier Musketeers-Miami (Ohio) Redhawks game at Cintas Center Nov. 28, 2018, in Cincinnati. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The university did not officially disclose the reason for Hendrix’s exit.


Hendrix went 35-80 during her four-year stint at Miami Ohio. Prior to joining the RedHawks, Hendrix spent seven seasons at High Point University.

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