Celtics' Kara Lawson Named Duke Women's Basketball Head Coach

Paul KasabianSenior Contributor

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 09: Assistant coach Kara Lawson of the Boston Celtics passes the ball prior to the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on January 9, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Boston Celtics assistant coach Kara Lawson was named Duke women's basketball head coach after agreeing to contract terms Saturday, per Steve Wiseman of the News and Observer.

Duke Womenโ€™s Basketball @DukeWBB

OFFICIAL. Welcome to Duke, Kara Lawson! https://t.co/0IIV5WprPD

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe first reported the news Friday, noting "Lawson completed her final interviews and is expected to finalize a deal."

Lawson played college ball for Pat Summit at the University of Tennessee, where she made four All-SEC teams and three Final Fours from 1999-2000 to 2002-03.

She was picked fifth overall by the Detroit Shock in the 2003 WNBA draft and played 13 seasons, averaging 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game for the Sacramento Monarchs, Connecticut Sun and Washington Mystics.

She won the 2005 WNBA Finals with the Monarchs and made the WNBA All-Star Game two years later. In 2008, she and Team USA won gold at the Beijing Summer Olympics.

Lawson has worked as a television broadcaster for ESPN and the Washington Wizards. She joined the C's coaching staff in June 2019.

Her decorated resume includes coaching experience outside of Boston, as she led USA Basketball's U19 boys and girls three-on-three hoops teams to four world championships.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was asked to comment on the rumored Duke-Lawson move, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic:

Jared Weiss @JaredWeissNBA

Brad Stevens says he can't comment on Kara Lawson likely getting the Duke job but says, "Everybody knows how I feel about Kara Lawson." That's highly, for the record.

Basketball analyst (and ex-Stanford guard) Ros Gold-Onwude also offered praise:

Ros Gold-Onwude @ROSGO21

The idea of Kara Lawson to @DukeWBB as head coach sounds very exciting and promising to me.... ๐Ÿ‘€

Per women's hoops analyst LaChina Robinson, Lawson will become the third Black women's basketball head coach in the ACC and second hired this season. Tina Thompson leads the Virginia Cavaliers, and Notre Dame hired Niele Ivey in April.

Lawson replaces Joanne McCallie, who resigned after she and Duke were unable to agree on a contract extension, per Shawn Krest of the North State Journal.

Lawson will take over a team that finished 18-12 overall and third in the ACC with a 12-6 record. The Blue Devils were projected to be a No. 6 seed in the canceled NCAA tournament, per Real Time RPI.

Duke will lose its top two scorers and rebounders in graduate student Haley Gorecki and senior Leaonna Odom but will return Jade Williams, who shot 53 percent from the field.

Other players who started at least one game include Miela Goodchild, Onome Akinbode-James and Jada Claude.


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