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What To Know About New Lady Vols Basketball Coach Kim Caldwell

Photo via Marshall Athletics

Danny White has found the Tennessee Lady Vols newest basketball, selecting Marshall’s Kim Caldwell to lead one of the sports’ most storied programs.

Caldwell is a rising star in the sport who has won at an incredible level as a head coach. She’s tasked with returning Tennessee women’s basketball to its former glory.

Here’s five things to know about Caldwell.

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Caldwell Has No Ties To Tennessee

Danny White went out of the Tennessee Lady Vols family to find Kellie Harper’s replacement. Both of Tennessee’s last two coaches played for Pat Summitt during her groundbreaking coaching career.

Not only did White not hire a former Summitt player, he hired a coach with no ties to the Lady Vols’ program at all.

Caldwell is a Parkersburg, West Virginia native who has never coached or played in the southeast.

Caldwell Played Division II College Basketball In West Virginia

Caldwell played her college basketball at Division II Glenville State in West Virginia from 2007-11. During her career, the Pioneers made it to the NCAA Division II Tournament once.

She was the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Student-Athlete of the Year once and made the WVIAC Commissioner’s Honor Role In both her junior and senior year.

Caldwell Has Championship Pedigree

After assistant coach stints at Ohio Valley and Sacramento State, Caldwell returned to her alma mater ahead of the 2016-17 season to be the new Glenville State head coach.

Caldwell turned her alma mater into a Division II power, posting a 191-24 (132-12 Mountain East Conference) record in seven seasons. The Pioneers made the NCAA Tournament in all seven of Caldwell’s seasons as head coach. won the regular season conference championship six times and conference tournament five times.

Glenville State reached the mountaintop under Caldwell’s leadership, making the Final Four twice and winning the 2022-23 National Championship.

During her time at Glenville State, Caldwell earned conference coach of the year honors four times and national coach of the year honors once.

One Successful Season At Division I

The knock on Caldwell will be her lack of experience. She hasn’t coached at a single big time women’s college basketball job as either a head coach or an assistant. Caldwell also has no experience coaching in the southeast.

In fact, she has just one season as a coach in Division I basketball.

However, it was a highly successful 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 Sun Belt Coach of the Year honors and won the Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year Award.

Caldwell Coaches A High Pressure Defense With High Scoring Offense

In his statement about hiring Caldwell, White mentioned Caldwell coaching teams with “a fast-paced, high-octane offense and pressure defense.” He wasn’t kidding.

Marshall has scored 100 points in 20 games in program history. Five came last season under Caldwell. The 2023-24 Thundering Herd set the program record by averaging 85.3 points per game— a mark that ranked fourth nationally.

Caldwell’s lone Marshall team ranked third nationally in made three-pointers per game and first nationally in three-point attempts.

Marshall ranked second nationally last season with 24.2 forced turnovers per game and third nationally with 13.2 steals per game.

Tennessee is going to play an up tempo style, shooting a lot of threes and forcing a lot of turnovers.

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One Response

  1. So it sounds a lot like Heupel’s offense. He chose him as a great one, hopefully she will be just as good.

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