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Kellie Harper receives contract extension

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NCAA Womens Basketball: Mississippi State at Tennessee Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

Following a Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament run, Tennessee has rewarded Lady Vols Basketball head coach Kellie Harper with a contract extension. Her new deal will run through the 2026-27 season.

The University announced the news via press release on Thursday.

“Kellie is an amazing leader for the young women on our team and a wonderful ambassador for our university,” Tennessee AD Danny White said. “She operates in a first-class manner, easily connects with people, has a great vision for our women’s basketball program and is clearly taking the steps to accomplish goals that will continue to make us all extremely proud of Lady Vol basketball.

“The job she has done this season in the face of unfortunate injuries within her team has been remarkable and impressive to watch. The ‘next woman up’ mentality she instilled in her players enabled them to overcome some key personnel losses and still advance farther than the program has in some time. I look forward to next season and beyond with great anticipation.”

Harper just finished up her third season at the helm, winning a career high 25 games. She notched her second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, guiding Tennessee to the Sweet 16 round for the first time since 2016. After a dramatic win over upset-minded Belmont, the Lady Vols ultimately fell to No. 1 seed Louisville in Wichita.

“I am so proud of the grit, toughness and passion our team played with this season,” Harper said. “Our players were a reflection of a strong culture and sisterhood. I’m grateful for the way our administration, the university and our fans embraced this team, and I cherish the privilege of being the head coach at my alma mater. I appreciate the support our administration and Lady Vol Nation provide our staff, our players and my family.”

The Lady Vols ended with a 25-9 record. Tennessee climbed as high as No. 4 in the AP Poll — their highest since the 2016 season. Heading into year four, Harper holds a 63-27 mark overall, with a firm foundation in place going forward.