Kim Caldwell is the new Lady Vols basketball coach

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Caldwell needed no history lesson on the Lady Vols basketball program she’s taking over and the legacy of legendary coach Pat Summitt.
It is a remarkable program,” Caldwell said.
The entire Lady Vols basketball team was present at the Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio for Caldwell’s introduction.
“Sometimes the enemy of great can be good, and as a women’s basketball program, we want to get back to competing for Southeastern Conference and national championships.
Caldwell replaces Kellie Harper who was fired April 1, a week after the Lady Vols lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament this season.
TOPPMEYER:Lady Vols’ hire of Kim Caldwell is a big gamble.
She was named the Sun Belt Coach of the Year after leading the Herd to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1997.
Caldwell was awarded the Pat Summitt Trophy, named after the legendary Lady Vols coach, as the 2022 WBCA NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year.

NEUTRAL

The light blue suit jacket that Tennessee uses for their Summitt Blue jerseys was worn by Kim Caldwell when she arrived at her first press conference on Tuesday.

Regarding the Lady Vols basketball program that she is taking over and the legacy of the late coach Pat Summitt, Caldwell didn’t require a history lesson.

“I am grateful to be here, and I understand the significance of this position,” Caldwell remarked. “I’m going to work hard every day to see to it that this special program is taken care of. “.”.

Only the fourth coach of the illustrious women’s basketball program, Caldwell was hired on Sunday, according to athletic director Danny White, who noted on Tuesday that this is a rare occurrence in college athletics. Caldwell recently completed her first season as a Division I coach at Marshall, where she guided the Herd to regular season and tournament titles in the Sun Belt Conference.

“There is not a single person who has completed this program that I could even come close to defeating one-on-one, which is why I am both honored and humbled to be here. Caldwell declared, “It’s an amazing program. “Wouldn’t Pat Summitt be proud of where basketball has come to today? She altered the game.”.

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“I am not and never will be Pat Summitt. However, I’ll work hard every day to become someone she could be proud of. ****.

The 2016-deceased Summitt had 1,098 career games played and eight national championships.

Caldwell was introduced in front of the entire Lady Vols basketball team at the Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio.

White stated that they took their time making a decision and that every effort was made to find a coach.

According to White, UT spoke with candidates at all levels and with “just about anybody you could think of” nationwide. “How is this person going to bring us back to the top?” was one thing White would not budge on.

White stated, “We’re good; we want to be great.”. “We want to resume competing for Southeastern Conference and national championships as a women’s basketball program because sometimes the good guys can be the enemy of the great ones. And we’re not following a three-, four-, or five-year plan; our student-athletes have that goal. The desire to win the following year was discussed. “.

After the Lady Vols’ defeat in the NCAA Tournament’s second round this season, Kellie Harper was fired on April 1. Caldwell took her place. Harper appeared twice in the Sweet 16 and finished 108-52 and 53-24 in SEC play.

Caldwell signed a contract that will run through March 31, 2029, and he will make $750,000 a year.

TOPPMEYER: The Lady Vols took a major risk when they hired Kim Caldwell. Reminds me of a Danny White maneuver.

Following her leadership of Marshall to a 26-7 record—the most wins for a first-year coach in program history—Caldwell was crowned the 2024 WBCA Rookie of the Year. She guided the Herd to their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1997, earning her the title of Sun Belt Coach of the Year.

Shortly after completing her undergraduate studies at Glenville State, she won an NCAA Division II National Championship in 2022. As the 2022 WBCA NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year, Caldwell received the Pat Summitt Trophy, which bears the name of the renowned Lady Vols coach. With a career record of 217-31, Caldwell has never missed an NCAA Tournament.

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