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Tennessee Lady Vols Hiring Rising Star In College Basketball As New Head Coach

Photo via Marshall Athletics

Tennessee is hiring Kim Caldwell as its newest women’s basketball coach, Talia Goodman first reported on Sunday afternoon.

One of the up-and-coming stars in the profession, Caldwell comes to Tennessee after spending one season at Marshall following a seven-year tenure leading Division II school Glenville State.

“From the beginning, our goal has been to find a dynamic head coach who can restore our women’s basketball program to national prominence. Kim Caldwell is the ideal person to lead us,” Tennessee Director of Athletics Danny White said in a statement. “Kim has a winning formula that she has successfully implemented everywhere she has coached, with a fast-paced, high-octane offense and pressure defense that has led to remarkable results.

“In this new era of college sports, it was vital that we found an innovative head coach with a strong track record of winning titles. We are eager to return the Lady Vols to a championship level, and we’re confident that Kim Caldwell is the coach who can lead us back to the top.”

Caldwell played at Glenville State in West Virginia from 2007-2011 and then became the Pioneers head women’s basketball coach ahead of the 2016-17 season. In seven seasons leading her alma mater, Caldwell’s teams posted a 191-24 (132-12 Mountain East Conference) record.

The Pioneers made it to the NCAA Tournament all seven years Campbell served as head coach including winning the Division II National Championship in 2021-22 and returning to the Final Four a season later.

Caldwell left her alma mater following the two straight runs to the Final Four while staying in her home state of West Virginia as the new head coach at Marshall.

In her lone season at Marshall, Caldwell led the Thundering Herd to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 27 years. After posting a 17-14 record the season before, Caldwell led Marshall to a 26-7 (17-1 Sun Belt) record and a loss against Virginia Tech in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Caldwell won the Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year Award this past season and also won WBCA NCAA Division II Coach of the Year award in 2022.

The young head coach has had nothing but success in her head coaching career to date but she is facing an incredible challenge as she heads to Tennessee attempting to revive one of the sport’s most storied programs.

Caldwell succeeds Lady Vols coach Kellie Harper who led Tennessee to five NCAA Tournament appearances and two Sweet 16 berths in her five seasons leading her alma mater. Tennessee Director of Athletics Danny White moved away from Harper as she was unable to get the Lady Vols over the hump nationally.

“I am honored and humbled to accept the role as head coach of this historic program at the University of Tennessee,” Caldwell said in a statement. “I can’t help but reflect on accepting the Pat Summitt Trophy three seasons ago and be moved by the great responsibility and opportunity of now leading and building upon the incredible Lady Vol tradition she built. I am so excited to get to work and can’t wait to see what we all can accomplish together.”

Tennessee was the sport’s best program under legendary head coach Pat Summitt, making it to 18 Final Fours and winning eight National Championships. The Lady Vols haven’t made it to the Final Four since winning the 2008 National Championship.

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