Women's College Basketball

Duke Hires Lawson as Head Coach

July 11

Duke University has officially hired former University of Tennessee and WNBA superstar Kara Lawson as its next women's basketball coach.

Most recently, Lawson spent one season serving as an assistant coach on Brad Stevens' staff with the Boston Celtics.

Lawson, 39, has been one of the most successful women's basketball players – on and off the court – in the history of the sport.

She spent her college years playing under the legendary Pat Summitt at Tennessee, before being selected with the 5th pick in the 2003 WNBA Draft by the Detroit Shock, which immediately traded her to the Sacramento Monarchs.

She spent 13 years in the WNBA, winning a WNBA title in 2005 with the Monarchs.

Lawson also won a Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a member of the USA women's national basketball team.

After retiring from the game, she served as a broadcaster for the Sacramento Kings, and in 2017, Lawson became the lead on-air analyst for the Washington Wizards, before beginning her coaching career with the Celtics.

At Duke, Lawson will take over for Joanne P. McCallie, who led the Blue Devils program for the past 13 seasons.

On July 2, McCallie announced that she would be stepping down as head coach.

"I am choosing to step away as head coach at Duke. As a coach in the final year of my contact, uncertainty is natural and it takes away from confidence and fun. I am pretty sure there is a level of uncertainty among the Duke family."

Lawson will have some large shoes to fill.

Under McCallie, Duke totaled a 330-107 record, made 10 NCAA tournament appearances and won 3 ACC tournament titles. She was a 3-time ACC Coach of the Year.

However, Lawson's pedigree is second to none, considering her time spent under Summitt, who won 8 National Championships and won 1,098 games as the head coach at Tennessee.


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