HOUSTON — Joe Curl, former Trinity Valley Community College coach and the winningest women’s basketball coach in University of Houston history, died Monday morning after a lengthy battle with heart problems. He was 59.

His daughter, Angela Curl-Okafor, told the Houston Chronicle Curl died from congestive heart failure early Monday morning in hospice care in the Houston Medical Center.

Curl had been in need of a heart since suffering a heart attack on a recruiting trip in 2007. He was later diagnosed with end-stage heart disease and was forced to retire in 2010.

Curl had been on a heart transplant list for more than a year. He underwent a procedure last August to insert a heart pump.

“I’m either going to be here and receive a heart and live, or I’m going to die,” Curl said during a January 2013 interview in his room at the cardiac care unit at Methodist Hospital. “It’s not a game. That’s the cold fact of it.”

In 12 seasons at UH, Curl won 193 games and led the Cougars to five postseason appearances. In 2003-04, Curl’s Cougars won a school-record 28 games, the Conference USA title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Curl also coached the men’s program at Blinn College for two years and the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks for two years.


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