Kara Lawson Accepts Duke Women's Coaching Job


Duke confirmed that Kara Lawson has accepted the head coaching position. The Blue Devils tweeted the news, first reported by Boston Globe national NBA writer Gary Washburn, from the school's Women's Basketball account on Twitter.

Lawson was reported by several outlets to be in serious talks with the Blue Devils about their women’s head coaching job, after Joanne McCallie resigned last week. Lawson spent the last year as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics, one of four female assistants in the NBA.

Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, who had two sons walk on for Duke’s men’s team, is a member of Duke’s Board of Trustees. The News & Observer reported that he pushed for the women’s team to hire Lawson.

Washburn reported on Friday afternoon that Lawson, “completed her final interviews and is expected to finalize a deal to become the next women’s head coach for the Duke, according to an NBA source.”

Citing an NBA source again on Saturday morning, Washburn reported that the deal was done.

The 39-year-old Lawson is from Arlington, Virginia, and played for Pat Summit at Tennessee, going to the Final Four three times. She then played 13 years in the WNBA for Sacramento, Connecticut and Washington. She won a WNBA title in 2005 and was an All-Star in 2007. She also won a gold medal with Team USA at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Lawson coached 3-on-3 youth teams for Team USA before joining the Celtics a year ago and becoming the first female assistant in the franchise’s history. She would become the first African American coach in Duke women’s basketball history.