By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Kara Lawson has been named the Duke Blue Devils women’s basketball head coach. She replaces Joanne P. McCallie, who served in the role since 2008.
She is just the fifth women’s basketball coach in program history. She joins Emma Jean Howard, Debbie Leonard, and Gail Goestenkors, besides McCallie to serve as the team’s head coach since 1976.
“I am delighted to welcome Kara Lawson to Duke as our next women’s basketball coach,” said Duke President Vincent E. Price. “Kara has proven herself as a skilled coach and a committed mentor, whose passion for education is demonstrated by her service on her alma mater’s board of trustees. I am thrilled that she will be bringing these talents to Duke, and I know that she will support the continued success of our women’s basketball student-athletes both on the court and off.”
This is Lawson’s first head coaching opportunity.
The 39-year-old spent the 2019-20 season as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics. With this appointment, she will not rejoin the Celtics for their restart of their season at the end of the month.
Before joining the Celtics, Lawson played in the WNBA and worked for ESPN. She previously played for the Sacramento Monarchs, Connecticut Sun, and the Washington Mystics.
“Well, it is a dream come true for me,” said Lawson. “I have wanted to be a coach since I was a kid. To have an opportunity to lead a group of young women at a prestigious university like Duke – I have run out of words; it is unbelievable and very exciting. I am thankful for the path that led me here and thankful for the belief of President Price, Kevin White, Nina King, Coach [Mike] Krzyzewski, Coach [David] Cutcliffe and everyone surrounding the program. Everybody I spoke with and had a chance to interact with, I immediately felt a great connection. It wasn’t a decision based on emotion, but there was a lot of emotion involved in it because of how excited I am and how ready I am to get started and to work with the players.”
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