Who's next at Duke? We might find out soon.
Duke could announce its new women's basketball head coach within the next week, a source says.
It shouldn’t be too much longer until Duke names its new head coach for women’s basketball.
A source close to the situation told All in the Game that they “wouldn’t be surprised” if the successor to Joanne P. McCallie is named within the next week.
It’s unclear who the candidates for the job are, but a source said none of them are men. Duke has never had a male head coach for the women’s basketball team and a source said they would be “shocked” if that changed. So, cross Mark Campbell, Curt Miller and Jeff Walz off your list of potential hires.
Multiple sources told All in the Game they believe Duke will hire a Black woman as its next head coach. And indeed, there are plenty of qualified candidates, several of which have ties to Duke. One of the greatest Duke men’s players of all-time, JJ Redick, would like to see Lindsey Harding get a shot at the head coaching gig. Former Duke player Lexie Brown wants a Black woman hired in Durham too. Should Duke hire a Black woman as its head coach, they would be the second ACC program to do so this offseason, following Notre Dame tapping Niele Ivey to succeed Muffet McGraw.
That line of thinking from Duke’s administration would also explain why the Blue Devils made the strange decision to exclude former head coach Gail Goestenkors from its list of potential candidates, according to a report from Mechelle Voepel at ESPN.
Still, Duke is relevant in the world of women’s basketball because of Goestenkors (and she seems to agree, liking this tweet from the Duke Alumni Association President-elect). Before her arrival in Durham in 1992, the Blue Devils had been to one NCAA tournament and had one season of more than 20 wins. Through her tenure that ended in 2007, she guided them to eight ACC regular season titles, four Final Fours and developed dozens of players who would go on to excel in the WNBA.
Duke is using a search firm to find its next women’s basketball head coach, according to a source, and those services aren’t cheap. Talking to Goestenkors would’ve cost them nothing. Should Duke make the wrong decision with the hire, it’ll be costly not only to the school’s pocket book, but to the program’s status.
No Duke players have entered the transfer portal since McCallie’s resignation, according to a source.
Duke administrators have not given players a clear timeline on when to expect a hire to be made. Players are supposed to report back to campus on Aug. 2. An interim head coach has not been named, though all of McCallie’s assistants remain employed by Duke. The new head coach will decide whether or not to keep them on through the season.
More on Duke
Speaking of Duke’s coaching search, these comments from Alana Beard are interesting and seem to indicate she would consider taking over as head coach of the Blue Devils, but that she also might be a bit apprehensive about doing so.
And add Kelly Bond-White to the list of potential candidates for the next head coach at Duke. The longtime Texas A&M associate head coach confirmed her interest in the job to Duke’s student newspaper, the Chronicle. Before joining Gary Blair at Texas A&M in 2003, Bond-White also had stints at Arkansas and Providence. She played at Illinois.
In other Duke news, Haley Gorecki has signed a pro deal in Spain.
Around the ACC
Louisville Report writes about the advantages of Zoom in recruiting. Says Jeff Walz: “You can get as much accomplished over a Zoom call as you can running into someone’s home for an hour, then running into the next house.”
Pitt introduced its 2020-21 freshmen class on Twitter. Among them is Tracey Hueston, a four-star forward from Roanoke, Virginia. Ranked No. 73 in her class, she is the highest ranked recruit Pitt has signed since joining the ACC.
Virginia Tech and Pitt are the two ACC teams that made the final five for 2021 three-star guard Destiney McPhaul. The Philadelphia native’s other options are WVU, Michigan and Penn State.
One of many reasons to be excited for the upcoming ACC women’s basketball season: Tiana Mangakahia is back.
I missed it when it was announced, but UConn will play a game at Virginia this season.
Former Florida State player Nausia Woolfolk has signed a professional deal with a club in Portugal. This past season, she became the third Seminole to finish their career with more than 1,000 points, 150 steals and 100 made three-pointers.
Another former Florida State player, Kiah Gillespie, has signed a pro contract in Israel. The two-time All-American was the 32nd overall pick by the Chicago Sky in the 2020 WNBA Draft.
ETSU will face a pair of ACC teams in the 2020-21 season, traveling to Wake Forest on Nov. 23 and hosting Georgia Tech on Dec. 13.
Elsewhere in women’s basketball…
Skylar Diggins-Smith, Natasha Cloud and Sue Bird are among the many WNBA players who want to see U.S. Senator (and Atlanta Dream co-owner) Kelly Loeffler out of the league. At Yahoo Sports, Shalise Manza Young asks why Loeffler is still an owner despite her “Donald Sterling vibes?” Then, on Tuesday, Loeffler wrote a letter to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert asking her to scrap plans for players to wear warm-up jerseys reading “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name,” according to my former AJC colleagues, Greg Bluestein and Bria Felicien. Loeffler added in the letter that she “adamantly” opposes the Black Lives Matter movement. Current and former Dream players, such as Renee Montgomery and Layshia Clarendon, responded to Loeffler on Twitter. Loeffler said in the letter that “we need less” politics in sports. If she really believes that, then maybe she – a politician – should sell her stake in the Dream. At Power Plays, Lindsay Gibbs also weighs-in on the Loeffler situation. And The Next has a round-up of everything that happened Tuesday.
Liz Cambage, one of the best players in the WNBA, will sit out this season. Howard Megdal has more at The Next. And for more on Cambage and Basketball Australia, check out this story from Jenn Hatfield.
Howard also has reporting on WNBA conditions in Bradenton.
As previously mentioned, Brandon Sudge has a newsletter on UGA women’s basketball. His latest is on former Bulldog Mackenzie Engram.
At Her Hoops Stats, Jenn Hatfield gives us 10 transfers to watch this upcoming season. Among them are former Duke guard Kyra Lambert and N.C. State’s newest addition, Raina Perez.
NAIA side Jessup University announced Monday that Hernando Planells is its new head women’s basketball coach. Planells was on McCallie’s staff at Duke from 2012 through 2019, serving as associate head coach in his final three seasons.
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