McCallie Cozy at Duke

By: Lindy Brown, Duke University
By: Lindy Brown, Duke University

DURHAM, N.C. – Joanne P. McCallie was formally introduced as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Duke University on Friday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Among Director of Athletics Joe Alleva, Blue Devil athletic department staff and Duke fans, McCallie received a very warm reception during her first public appearance as the Blue Devils head coach.

McCallie made her way to Durham via Michigan State were she spent the past seven seasons as head coach, while leading the Spartans to a 149-75 mark. She led Michigan State to five straight NCAA Tournament appearances, four straight 20-win seasons and an appearance in the NCAA Championship game in 2005. She molded Michigan State basketball into one of the elite programs in the nation, which includes an 81-23 record over the last three years.

McCallie guided Michigan State to its best season in school history in 2004-05 as the Spartans advanced to the National Championship game, won a school-record 33 games, won a school-record 14 Big Ten games, while sharing their second Big Ten regular-season championship, won their first Big Ten Tournament title, finished 13-0 at home, had a school-record 17-game winning streak and beat 13 nationally-ranked teams, including four teams ranked No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3.

After leading Michigan State to a remarkable season in 2004-05, McCallie was named National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, Basketball Times, and Nike, as well as being voted Big Ten Coach of the Year by the league’s media. She was also selected the 2005 Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan College Coach of the Year.

McCallie, 41, led the Spartans to a 24-9 record this past season, tied for the second-best total in school history. Michigan State advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, marking a school-record fifth straight NCAA appearance. Along the way, McCallie’s squad beat two ranked conference teams on the road, at No. 13 Purdue and at No. 4 Ohio State. The Spartans beat all 10 conference teams during the league slate for the first time in program history. The team’s 13-3 conference record was the second-best in program history and placed third in the Big Ten.

Under Coach McCallie, MSU saw its fan base increase dramatically. The team has set season attendance records in four of the last five seasons, including a school-record average of 6,787 fans in 2005-06, which ranked 10th in the nation. The Spartans were second in the Big Ten last season with an average of 6,646 a game and ninth in the NCAA. While hosting the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history on March 18 and 20, Michigan State attracted 21,340 fans for the six-game event, the most of any of the eight preliminary round sites. All of MSU’s top 15 single-game crowds in program history came during Coach P’s tenure, including a school-record 14,066 against Ohio State on Feb. 20, 2005.

Over the summer of 2006, McCallie guided the USA Basketball U-20 team to a 5-0 record and a gold medal in the FIBA Americas Championships in Mexico City. The squad outscored its opponents by 62 points per game and set 28 U-20 records in the event. McCallie will also be coaching the FIBA U-21 World Championship team in Moscow, Russia this summer from June 29 - July 8.

A native of Brunswick, Maine, McCallie owns a career mark of 316-148 during her 15-year stint as a head coach at Maine and Michigan State. As a coach and player, she has led her teams to 13 conference titles, 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, five NCAA Sweet 16 appearances, four NCAA Elite Eight appearances, three NCAA Final Four appearances and three NCAA Championship game appearances.

During her eight-year stint at Maine, McCallie guided the Black Bears to seven straight 20-win campaigns, including a 20-11 overall record in 1999-2000 and their sixth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. She was named coach of the year on three occasions, twice in the North Atlantic Conference (1995 and 1996) and once in the America East (1999).

Prior to becoming Head Coach at Maine in 1992-93, McCallie was an assistant coach at Auburn from 1988-92. As the team’s primary recruiter, she helped sign the fourth-ranked class in the nation in 1990-91 and the 16th-ranked class in the nation in 1991-92. While at Auburn, McCallie and the Tigers appeared in two national championship games and made an appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight.

The former Joanne Palombo, prior to getting married to John McCallie, played her collegiate basketball at Northwestern from 1984-87. She still ranks seventh in Wildcat history with 378 career assists. As a senior, she was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection and helped lead the Wildcats to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. McCallie also was named Academic All-Big Ten First-Team as a senior.

McCallie graduated from Northwestern in 1987 with a degree in political science and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Auburn in 1990.

The McCallie family includes husband John, daughter Madeline (Maddie) and son John Wyatt (Jack).

McCallie will be the fourth head coach in Duke University women’s basketball history as she replaces Gail Goestenkors, who took over the helm at Texas earlier this month. The Blue Devils have advanced to the NCAA Final Four on four different occasions over the last nine years.

Duke returns three starters and nine letterwinners from their 32-2 squad that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. Highlighting the returners include rising senior Wanisha Smith, rising junior Abby Waner and rising junior Carrem Gay, who each started all 34 contests this past season. Duke will also welcome back 6-5 center Chante Black after redshirting 2006-07 due to an injured knee, rising senior Emily Waner and rising sophomores Brittany Mitch, Keturah Jackson, Joy Cheek and Bridgette Mitchell.

McCallie will gladly welcome one of the top recruiting classes in the nation that includes three WBCA High School All-America selections-- Krystal Thomas (Orlando, Fla.), Jasmine Thomas (Fairfax, Va.) and Karima Christmas (Houston, Texas). Both Krystal and Jasmine Thomas were recently named Parade First Team All-America.


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