McCallie remains as head coach of Duke women’s basketball

Orin Day, TSN via
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Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network
Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils women’s basketball program will continue under the direction of head coach Joanne P. McCallie as was announced by Duke Athletics on Sunday.

Vice president and director of Athletics Kevin White released a statement affirming McCallie’s continued leadership following an evaluation of the program.

“Joanne P. McCallie is, and will be, our head women’s basketball coach and we support her. A three-time ACC Coach of the Year, she is a winning coach who has averaged more than 27 wins per season, won three ACC Championships and led our program to the NCAA Elite Eight four times.

“We have received and thoroughly reviewed the evaluation report of the Duke women’s basketball program. The purpose of this evaluation, which Duke Athletics initiated with an outside party, was for Duke women’s basketball to get even better. I have discussed the results at length with Coach McCallie, and we are indeed in a position to improve Duke women’s basketball for present and future student-athletes, coaches, and staff alike. We are grateful for the efforts of those who worked so diligently and provided information for this project, including Coach McCallie, and for their deep commitment to Duke women’s basketball. The student-athlete experience at Duke is our highest priority, and we will always take seriously any concerns that we are not meeting that goal.”

Following a season that ended with the Blue Devils missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1994, subsequent departures of forward Azura Stevens and guard Angela Salvadores brought to light concerns of deeper issues within the program.

With various player departures as well as personnel changes that came about as a result of assistant coaches leaving for positions with other programs over the past two to three years, the review of the program was initiated and announced.

While the evaluation progressed, the team held its year-end team recognition awards night as well announced the addition of late signee Emily Schubert and transfer Sofia Romo from Wagner, both sizable forwards who would replenish the roster count.

Throughout the process, McCallie’s involvement was participative and cooperative, and eventually led to the decision that she would continue leading the program.

“The information we received from this process, and the subsequent conversations with Duke Athletics leadership, afforded me an opportunity to consider my ongoing efforts to be the best possible basketball coach and leader of young women,” McCallie was quoted as saying in response to the evaluation process and decision.

“I have always understood that it is an honor and a privilege to coach student-athletes, and that is a commitment I brought with me to Duke University. I understand that it is my obligation to uphold the highest standards of excellence in all areas.  After in-depth discussions with Dr. White, I am satisfied that we share a clear vision moving forward in our aspirations to maintain a championship level women’s basketball program. Going forward, I expect these to be the reasons the Duke women’s basketball program is in the spotlight, and, as the head coach, it is my responsibility to make it happen.”