Here is the latest on coach search to replace Katie Meier at the University of Miami

The search for a replacement for retired University of Miami women’s basketball coach Katie Meier is well underway. A decision is expected within a week, and longtime Florida Gulf Coast University coach Karl Smesko has emerged as one of the leading candidates, according to multiple sources.

Smesko, who has been at FGCU for 22 years, has compiled a 549-101 (.847) record, which ranks ahead of UConn (.799), Tennessee (.798) and Stanford (.773). FGCU qualified for the record once completing its 10th full season as a Division I program in 2020-21.

FGCU led the nation in made three-pointers each of the last four seasons. The Eagles hold the NCAA record for the most made threes in a single season, with 431 during the 2017-18 season.

His overall career winning percentage of .832 (672-136) makes him the third-winningest active Division I head coach behind Geno Auriemma (1,209-261, .882) and Kim Mulkey (720-117, .860). The Eagles have won the Atlantic Sun Conference title 14 times, were 29-4 overall and 16-0 in the conference last season and lost to Oklahoma in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Another in-state candidate whose name came up is longtime University of South Florida coach Jose Fernandez, a Miami native and FIU grad who has deep South Florida ties. But he announced he was staying at USF after media outlets For the Win and Tampa Bay Times reported he had been approached by UM.

“The University of South Florida had been my home for the last 24 years and there is no place I would rather be,” he posted on social media.

Other potential candidates include Toledo coach Tricia Cullop, Penn State coach Carolyn Kieger and Columbia coach Megan Griffith.

Cullop is the winningest coach in Toledo women’s basketball history. In her 17 seasons at the helm, the team has made 10 trips to the postseason and has won seven championships, including a postseason WNIT title in 2011, Mid-American Conference tournament championships in 2017 and 2023, and five MAC regular-season championships.

She was named MAC coach of the Year in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2022, 2023, and 2024. The Rockets were 28-6 overall and 17-1 in the MAC last season. Her teams have ranked top 30 in the country in attendance 10 out of the past 11 seasons and have led the MAC attendance since she arrived.

Kieger spent six seasons as a UM assistant under Meier, and then was hired as head coach at Marquette, her alma mater. She was at Marquette from 2014 to 2019 and left for Penn State.

In five seasons at Marquette, Kieger went 99-64 and appeared in three NCAA tournaments. In the 2018-19 season, Marquette had a record 27 wins, won the 2019 Big East regular season title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Griffith was hired by her alma mater Columbia in 2016 and has led the Lions to the most successful stretch in the program’s NCAA Division I history. She coached the team to its first regular season Ivy League title in 2023. The Lions won the Ivy title again 2024 and earned the school’s first berth in the NCAA Tournament.