SALT LAKE CITY — Former Southern Oregon University men's basketball assistant coach Anthony Levrets has had the "interim" label removed from his title as Utah women's basketball coach, athletics director Dr. Chris Hill announced Wednesday.

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Southern Oregon University men's basketball assistant coach Anthony Levrets has had the "interim" label removed from his title as Utah women's basketball coach, athletics director Dr. Chris Hill announced Wednesday.

Levrets guided Utah to the 2011 Mountain West Conference Tournament title and the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

"We have a great winning tradition with our women's basketball program, which has averaged over 20 wins a season since becoming a varsity sport back in 1975. Our primary goal is to maintain that success, and after watching a lot of games, talking to coach (Elaine) Elliott and researching other potential candidates, we decided we had the best person for the job in place in Anthony Levrets," Hill said. "This is a new era and we are excited for coach Levrets to add to our great legacy of women's basketball at Utah."

"This is obviously an exciting time for me and my family," said Levrets, who served as Brian McDermott's assistant at SOU for five years. "I was grateful for the opportunity to be an assistant coach for Elaine Elliott and I am thankful and humbled at the opportunity Dr. Hill has now given me to be the next women's basketball coach at the University of Utah. It is an unbelievable honor to be the women's basketball coach here and to continue the tradition of Elaine Elliott and (former women's basketball coach) Fern Gardner."

Levrets becomes the fourth head women's basketball coach in school history, replacing Elliott, who decided to retire after taking a year's leave of absence. Elliott coached at Utah for 31 years, including the last 27 as the head coach. Elliott compiled a 582-234 (.713) record at Utah and is one of just 19 women's basketball coaches ever to produce 20 20-win seasons.

"I love the players, I love the University and I love coaching, but I don't love everything about the job anymore," Elliott said. "While it is difficult, I don't think there could have been a better time for me to leave and for Anthony and his staff to continue the tradition that we've all come to be so proud of over the last three and a half decades. There is a great group of young players and a great staff in place and I feel like the future is bright. As for me, in simple terms, 32 years (including this past season) is enough."

Levrets served as Elliott's top assistant for three years before assuming interim head coaching duties at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season. Levrets came to Utah after his stint at SOU. In addition to his coaching duties, he served as SOU's director of recruiting, player development and scouting, and helped the team reach the quarterfinals of the 2005 NAIA Division II national tournament.

While at Southern Oregon, Levrets also coached the Oregon Select AAU girls basketball team. His other coaching experience includes two years (2001-02) as a player/coach for Hamamatsu Daigaku, a Japan Division I club team, and an assistant men's coach at Willamette (1999-2001) and Lane College (1996-99), both in Oregon.

In his first season as Utah's head coach, Levrets guided a young team to an 18-17 record that included four straight wins in the MWC Tournament. The Utes, a No. 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament, hung tough with No. 2 seed and seventh-ranked Notre Dame, before eventually falling 67-54 in the first round on Mar. 19.

"I believe this program is in a position to do remarkable things in the near future," said Levrets. "We have an incredible core of young women coming back, and as we move to the Pac-12, we believe we can keep this program competing on a regional and national level. The foundation of this program has always been the student-athlete and we will continue to recruit high-quality student athletes."

Levrets, an Oregon native, was born in Eugene and raised in Bandon. He played junior college basketball for Southwestern Oregon Community College (1992-93) and Lane Community College (1995-96) before moving to Hamamatsu, Japan. His bachelor's degree is from Lafayette (Pa.) University.