NEW YORK  - Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education at Columbia University, announced today that head women's basketball coach Paul Nixon will not return for the 2013-14 season.

"Coach Nixon has dedicated himself tremendously to Columbia University and our women's basketball team.  We are appreciative of the effort and hard work that Paul has contributed to the women's basketball program over the past eight years," said Dr. Murphy. "His engaging personality, and his ability to be a great team player within our athletics program, was invaluable to Columbia. We thank him and wish him the very best in the future."

Added Murphy, "Making a decision of this nature is always difficult, but we believe it is necessary and appropriate to make a leadership change at this time in order to achieve the goals that we have set for the Columbia women's basketball program."

Nixon took over a team that had completed a very tumultuous season just before his arrival, and eventually led the women's basketball program to its best competitive single-season records in NCAA Division I and Ivy League competition. He leaves Columbia with the most NCAA Division I victories as a head coach (70) in school history.

Nixon also recruited and/or developed some of the best players in our program's history, including Megan Griffith, Judie Lomax, Danielle Browne, Sara Yee, Kathleen Barry and Lauren Dwyer.

Columbia will begin a national search for a new head women's basketball coach immediately.