Duke hires Kara Lawson as women’s basketball mentor

Duke hires Kara Lawson as women's basketball coach

Duke has employed former Tennessee and WNBA guard Kara Lawson as its women’s basketball coach, the college announced Saturday.

Lawson, 39, experienced been an assistant with the Boston Celtics prior to using over at Duke. She will change Joanne P. McCallie, who introduced on July 2 that she would not return for a 14th time. She’d entered the ultimate yr of her contract without an extension.

“Effectively, it is a desire occur genuine for me,” Lawson explained in a assertion. “I have needed to be a coach since I was a child. To have an prospect to direct a team of young women at a prestigious college like Duke — I have operate out of terms it is unbelievable and extremely remarkable.

“… All people I spoke with and experienced a likelihood to interact with, I right away felt a excellent connection. It was not a selection based on emotion, but there was a lot of emotion associated in it since of how psyched I am and how completely ready I am to get begun and to operate with the players.”

Lawson is the 1st Black head coach in software background. She is also the fifth Black mentor in the ACC, together with Syracuse’s Quentin Hillsman, Virginia Tech’s Kenny Brooks, Virginia’s Tina Thompson and Niele Ivey, who took in excess of at Notre Dame in April.

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Thompson and Ivey are also former WNBA players.

“A really-seasoned winner at multiple concentrations in the basketball landscape, Kara Lawson is the suitable in shape for Duke College,” athletic director Kevin White stated in a statement. “Through the approach, it became abundantly clear that her authenticity, enthusiasm, contemporary vision and unwavering determination to the student-athlete practical experience align seamlessly with the values of the establishment.

“With her higher diploma of psychological intelligence, Kara’s astute capacity to join with upcoming, existing and previous student-athletes, as very well as the passionate and committed supporters of Duke women’s basketball, will have an fast and profound impression on the full method.”

At Tennessee from 1999 to 2003, Lawson played less than Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt, main the Woman Vols to NCAA championship recreation appearances in 2000 and 2003, shedding to UConn both periods. Lawson is on the board of trustees at her alma mater.

Lawson performed in the WNBA from 2003 by 2015, profitable the 2005 championship with Sacramento, and was component of the gold-medal-successful 2008 U.S. Olympic staff. She worked as a Tv set commentator for NBA and college basketball games just before the Celtics hired her in June 2019.

McCallie was 330-107 in her 13 seasons and was a a few-time league mentor of the year. Her groups received at least a share of the standard-period title 4 occasions and a few ACC tournament titles, though also making 10 excursions to the NCAA tournament, together with 4 consecutive journeys to the Elite 8 (2010-13).

But with the arrival of Notre Dame and Louisville to the ACC, Duke’s accomplishment began to wane. The Blue Devils have not concluded between the league’s top rated 3 teams in the typical season in 4 of the past seven seasons.

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McCallie experienced taken in excess of from Gail Goestenkors, who took more than at Duke in 1992 and had 7 straight 30-earn seasons — along with generating the Women’s Closing Four 4 situations — right before leaving for Texas in 2007.

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