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Duke hires Kara Lawson as women’s basketball coach

Oklahoma City Thunder v Boston Celtics Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

The Duke Blue Devils have hired a Tennessee icon to lead its women’s basketball program. Kara Lawson officially accepted the job on Saturday after a stint with the Boston Celtics as an assistant. The 39 year old will replace Joanne McCallie, who announced that she would step down last week.

“Well, it is a dream come true for me,” Lawson said in a statement. “I have wanted to be a coach since I was a kid. To have an opportunity to lead a group of young women at a prestigious university like Duke — I have run out of words; it is unbelievable and very exciting.”

Lawson played at Tennessee from 1999-2003 under Pat Summitt. She made appearances in the 2000 and 2003 national title games, losing both times to UConn. She followed that with a career in the WNBA through 2015. Lawson then spent time as a TV analyst ahead of landing with the Celtics.

Duke went 18-12 last season, finishing third in the ACC with a 12-6 mark in conference play.