Duke Women's Basketball Coach Joanne McCallie Resigns

Chose to step down instead of entering final year of contract
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Duke women’s basketball coach Joanne McCallie announced her resignation in a six-minute video posted to the program’s social media accounts on Thursday.

McCallie has coached at Duke since the 2007-08 season, going 330-107 over 13 seasons. She made the NCAA tournament 10 times, including four straight Elite Eights. McCallie won four straight ACC regular season titles, from 2010 to 2013, winning the ACC tournament in 2010, 2011 and 2013. She was a two-time ACC coach of the year and won the national coach of the year in 2005, while coaching at Michigan State.

McCallie began her career in 1992-93 at Maine. In 28 seasons, she had a career mark of 646-255.

“I just had a very difficult conversation with a group of women that I love and adore and admire,” she said. “It was very heartfelt and bittersweet. I am choosing to step away as head coach at Duke”

Concern over her contract status led to McCallie’s decision to step down. She is entering the final year of her contract, and it appears no agreement could be reached on an extension. She had already agreed to two pay cuts, along with most of Duke’s other high-profile head coaches, including Mike Krzyzewski and David Cutcliffe, to help the athletic department make budget during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a coach in the final year of my contract, uncertainty is natural, and it takes away from competence and fun,” she said. “I am pretty sure there’s a level of uncertainty amongst the Duke family. I want to bring clarity with great pride for all. Throughout my entire coaching career, I have thrived on providing stability, and I enjoyed long-term relationships with every program I’ve had the honor to serve. Clarity and principle over uncertainty must prevail.”

McCallie thanked her players, fans and the Duke administration. She also said she was 100 percent healthy.

“All current, former and future Duke women and the entire DWB family are very special to me,” she said. “I want to provide an opportunity for change, growth and a sense of security relative to the future of the program.”

McCallie thanked men’s coach Mike Krzyzewski, saying, “Coach K, the GOAT, thank you for your profound influence on my journey to Duke. I’ll never forget our first conversation. You made time for me, despite having to depart for your USA Basketball commitment. And thank you for writing the forward to my very first book. Your legacy at Duke and worldwide is forever appreciated.”

“I hope my action allows the team to play free without the burden and uncertainty of their coach’s future,” she concluded.