Why Kara Lawson? Duke A.D. Kevin White Discusses New Women's Coach


Duke athletic director Kevin White introduced new women’s basketball head coach Kara Lawson in a Zoom press conference on Monday.

“Yes, indeed,” White said. “Duke is very, very excited, to say the least, to have Kara lead our outstanding program.”

Lawson’s resume included three Final Four teams in four years at Tennessee, a WNBA title and an Olympic gold medal.

“Kara is a highly-seasoned champion at every level,” White said. “She has a peerless track record of success. If you don’t know that at this point, you’re living under a rock. It’s very clear if you’re paying attention.”

White was also impressed with Lawson’s personality.

“Kara is very authentic,” he said, “which really jumped out at me. She’s extremely comfortable in her own skin, which is one of the truly great leadership characteristics. Kara has that in abundance. Incredible authenticity and comfort with who she is, what she represents and how she operates.”

While Lawson has never coached at the college level, White is confident in her ability to head the program.

“Kara is a natural leader. It’s well-documented. She possesses a contemporary vision for women’s collegiate basketball. She has a really good pulse of where things currently are. Kara is extremely passionate about coaching and enjoys an unabashed commitment relive to the plight of the student athlete. She’s very plugged in. Kara is highly empathetic by design, terribly task-oriented and exceedingly prideful and possesses what I call the adaptability gene. Kara has continually demonstrated situational leadership and flexibility throughout her amazing career. As my kids would say, she has that for days. Kara has a distinct track record of developing very strong, deeply-rooted relationships. She’s truly gifted in maintaining, if not enhancing, those highly-valued relationships over time.”