McCallie To Duke

By: Tim Staudt & Associated Press
By: Tim Staudt & Associated Press

MSU Head women's basketball coach Joanne P. McCallie is expected to announce that she is going to Duke. Sources tell me that McCallie has accepted the job after interviewing there earlier this week.

McCallie has coached the women Spartans for seven seasons. Her record is 149 wins and 75 losses.

She guided the Spartans to the 2005 national championship game and succeeds Gail Goestenkors, who left for Texas. McCallie informed Michigan State's players of her decision Wednesday and will be introduced at a news conference Friday in Durham, N.C.

"She elevated the Michigan State program to a new level, and we look forward to her continuing the tremendous tradition we have established at Duke," Duke athletic director Joe Alleva said.

The 41-year-old McCallie leaves the Spartans less than a month after signing a new contract that boosted her base salary by about $100,000, and two years after the best season in school history.

Michigan State won a school-record 33 games in 2005 and capped a memorable season by reaching the national championship game. The run earned McCallie the national coach of the year award from The Associated Press.

"The entire McCallie family is absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to serve at Duke," McCallie said. "This has been a dream job of mine for many years. We cannot wait to meet and get to know a team that we are so very impressed by academically, as well as athletically, and by the way (they) carry themselves."

Goestenkors earned the award after leading the Blue Devils to the first 29-0 regular season in school and Atlantic Coast Conference history. Duke finished 32-2 -- an NCAA-record seventh straight 30-win season.

She led Duke to five straight ACC tournament championships from 2000-04, 13 consecutive NCAA tournaments and at least two wins in each appearance in the NCAAs since 1997.

Duke has reached the national championship game twice, most recently in 2006, and finished this season No. 1 in the final AP poll of the season. Now, the Blue Devils are counting on McCallie to help them take the next step -- their first national title.

McCallie -- colloquially known as "Coach P" because of her maiden name, Palombo -- has a career record of 316-148 in 15 seasons at Michigan State and Maine. She leaves Michigan State after going 149-75 in seven seasons there, and reaching the past five NCAA tournaments. The Spartans' season came to an abrupt end with a 70-57 loss to Rutgers in the second round.

After being rumored as a candidate for several high-profile jobs, McCallie signed a five-year contract worth $500,000 a year plus a possible $143,000 in incentives on March 24 -- coincidentally, the same day Duke's season ended with a last-second loss to those same Scarlet Knights in the regional semifinals.

Shortly after that, Texas offered the job to Goestenkors and she deliberated for about a week before accepting it this month, ending her 15-year run with the Blue Devils. California's Joanne Boyle, a former Duke player, turned down the job last week and agreed to a seven-year contract with the Golden Bears.

McCallie becomes the second straight Duke coach with ties to the state of Michigan. Goestenkors is a Waterford, Mich., native who played at Saginaw Valley State.

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  • by Paulette Location: Mason on Apr 19, 2007 at 10:48 AM
    You could tell she was leaving at the beginning of the season. Her heart just wasn't in it anymore. Her demeanor with the fans and media wasn't there like it was in previous years. I was at the pep rally for the NCAA tournament she hardly talked to anyone. She was looking. I thought it was interesting that she wasn't Duke's first choice.
  • by Vickie Location: Lansing on Apr 19, 2007 at 07:44 AM
    Was this move because of all her husbands legal problems maybe?
  • by Matt Location: DeWitt on Apr 18, 2007 at 01:46 PM
    This really sucks, I would love to hear why she decided to leave MSU after signing an extention and leave for Duke.
  • by eric schwarzkopf Location: east lansing on Apr 18, 2007 at 01:15 PM
    Tim,You finally got one right!!!!! Good for you.It's a travesty that coaches can just walk out of contracts but the students they recruit have to run thru hoops(pardon the pun)to get out of their L.O.I.
  • by Lyn Location: St. Johns on Apr 18, 2007 at 01:03 PM
    How disappointing. Loyalty these days is as thick paper.
  • by Sherrie Location: Lansing on Apr 18, 2007 at 12:48 PM
    Since she just signed a contract I hope MSU doesn't have to pay her anything!!!! In fact she should have to pay something to break her contract. Seems contracts mean nothing these days.
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