Twenty-four-years coaching one school`s basketball program is a long time for any coach. But still, the announcement that Marsha Sharp will be leaving her job after the season came as a shock to many. Marsha Sharp held a press conference at 2:30 p.m. Friday to announce her resignation, which will take effect at the end of the season. The Lady Raider coach had planned to announce it after the season, but because of a media leak, was forced to announce it early. "Today I am announcing my resignation as the coach of the Texas Tech Lady Raiders, effective at the end of the current season," Coach Sharp announced in the press conference. "The last few years have been increasingly difficult for me and please know there is not any one specific reason why I am choosing to resign now except that I know in my heart that the time has come for me to pursue new opportunities. It is very important to me to state that this is a decision I made last fall and that Dr. (Judi) Henry, Coach (Gerald) Myers, Dr. (Jon) Whitmore and Dr. (David) Smith were all informed of my intentions in early October. While this year has not been as successful as we had expected and hoped for, and it is true that some health concerns have been significant enough to get my attention, the decision was already made." "Marsha has done an outstanding job as the women`s basketball coach at Texas Tech for a long period of time," said Texas Tech Athletic Director Gerald Myers. "She`s been a great ambassador for the university, Lubbock and all of West Texas as one of the most outstanding coaches to have ever coached women`s basketball. She leaves a legacy of one of the outstanding programs in the country that we hope to continue." Coach Sharp is in her 24th season as the Lady Raider coach at Texas Tech. She has compiled a career record of 570-187 and an NCAA National Championship in 1993. Sharp said she was not ready to make the announcement, that she wanted the focus to be on her players. "The announcement has been planned for weeks to happen at the end of the season. I have been adamant about protecting this team," she said. "I wanted each game to be about the girls and not me. The unwillingness of some media outlets to let that happen has been very disappointing to me. So many members of the local media have been respectful of this process, and I appreciate that more than they will ever know. However, that is not the case with everyone, therefore prompting this announcement to be earlier than planned. Professionalism is a well respected trait and I truly believe that what goes around comes around in matters of personal and professional integrity." Coach Sharp will stay on with Tech as an Associate Athletic Director of Special Operations.