The ACC Coach of the Year in 2010, 2012 and 2013, head coach Joanne P. McCallie enters her 11th season at the helm of the Blue Devils’ program.
In just 10 years, Coach P has guided the program to a 273-71 overall record, a 121-33 mark in ACC action and nine NCAA Tournament selections, including a No. 1 seed in 2009 and four straight Elite Eight appearances from 2010-13. She led Duke to four consecutive ACC regular season titles in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and three ACC Championships in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
On the recruiting trail, McCallie brought in back-to-back No. 1 classes in 2010 and 2011, as well as the No. 1 class in 2015. She secured the No. 2 classes in 2013 and 2014. Duke has also signed 15 different players who have played in the McDonald’s All-America game, including nine over the last seven years. Coming off totaling a 28-6 record a year ago, Duke is primed for another successful season with Associated Press All-America Lexie Brown and two-time First Team All-ACC selection Rebecca Greenwell returning.
In 2014-15, injuries once again bit Duke as the team lost two Blue Devils to season-ending injuries -- Oderah Chidom and Lyneé Belton -- along with one transfer that left Duke with a limited roster. McCallie and the Blue Devils still managed to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16, while posting a 23-11 overall and 11-5 mark in the ACC. Elizabeth Williams was named the WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year and became the first Duke four-time Associated Press All-America. She went on to be the No. 4 overall selection in the WNBA Draft to the Connecticut Sun.
McCallie and the Blue Devils registered a 28-7 overall and 12-4 league mark in 2013-14, but were dealt with two devastating injuries to All-America point guards Chelsea Gray and Alexis Jones. The Blue Devils rebounded to advance to the ACC Championship game before falling in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Elizabeth Williams earned ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the third straight year. In the WNBA Draft, both Gray and Tricia Liston were selected in the first round by the Connecticut Sun and Minnesota Lynx, respectively.
During the season, McCallie reached the 500-win mark, joining a group of 29 other active coaches to reach the milestone.
In one of her best coaching jobs since arriving at Duke, Coach P led the Blue Devils to a 33-3 overall and 17-1 league mark in 2012-13. This all came after losing All-America point guard Chelsea Gray for the season on Feb. 17 against Wake Forest. Duke went on to win the ACC regular season title with an ACC-record 17-1 mark and claimed its eighth overall ACC Championship. The Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight before falling to top-seeded Notre Dame. Gray went on to be named WBCA All-America, while Williams earned Associated Press All-America honors as well. Williams also secured ACC Defensive Player of the Year accolades for the second straight year. Rookie Alexis Jones stepped up once Gray went down with the injury and earned ACC Tournament MVP honors.
During the season, McCallie topped the 150-win mark at Duke, reaching the milestone in the third-quickest amount of games in Division I history (182). She was also the fastest female coach in history to reach 150 wins at an institution. McCallie guided Duke to a 27-6 overall and 15-1 league mark in 2011-12, in a season that featured the loss of starters Richa Jackson and Chloe Wells as well as highly-ranked freshman Amber Henson. For the Blue Devils to win the ACC regular season title outright for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign, advance to the NCAA Elite Eight and net 15 league wins was one of her best coaching jobs in her 20 years. Williams earned National Freshman of the Year and All-America accolades, while Gray was an All-America selection as well.
Duke also led the ACC in attendance with a 5,361 per game average in 2011-12.
In 2010-11, McCallie and the Blue Devils netted a 32-4 overall record, marking her second straight 30-win season at the helm at Duke. The Blue Devils posted 10 victories against ranked opponents, including victories against eventual national champion Texas A&M, fourth-ranked Xavier, 10th-ranked Kentucky and 10th-ranked DePaul. Senior Jasmine Thomas earned second team All-America and ACC Tournament MVP honors for the second consecutive year. McCallie led the Blue Devils to a 17-0 mark at home in Cameron Indoor Stadium, which was just the third undefeated campaign at home in Duke’s school history and the second under Coach P. The 17 wins was also a Blue Devil single-season record.
Duke boasted three student-athletes drafted in the WNBA Draft as Thomas was selected 12th overall to Seattle, while Karima Christmas was the 23rd pick by Washington and Krystal Thomas was the 36th selection by the Seattle Storm. In 2009-10, McCallie led Duke to both the ACC regular season and ACC Tournament titles, while advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight. Along the way, she also became the first coach in Division I history to be crowned champion in four different conferences, as well as the first coach in NCAA history to garner coach of the year accolades in four different leagues.
During her third season at Duke, Coach P guided the Blue Devils to a 30-6 overall record, both the ACC regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Regional final. The 30-win season for Duke was the eighth over the last 10 years, as McCallie became just the second Division I coach to lead two different programs to 30-win campaigns.
The Blue Devils knocked off eight ranked teams under Coach P’s guidance in 2009-10, while junior Jasmine Thomas earned All-America honors and was a finalist for National Player of the Year. Senior Joy Cheek became the 14th player drafted in Duke’s history as she was taken with the 35th overall selection by the Indiana Fever.
During McCallie’s first three years, she registered 82 victories marking the second-most wins by a head coach in the first three years at a school.
In 2008-09, McCallie led Duke to its 11th straight 25-win season, an appearance in the ACC Tournament Championship game as well as a No. 1 seed in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Under Coach P’s direction, the Blue Devils compiled a 14-0 record in Cameron Indoor Stadium, marking only the second time in school history the program has gone undefeated at home.
Duke collected wins over eight nationally ranked opponents including Stanford, Tennessee, North Carolina, Maryland and Florida State. The Blue Devils’ undefeated home record was supported by an average of 6,655 fans, the second-highest average in school history, and Duke ended the season ranked No. 11 nationally in average attendance. The program continued its streak of NCAA Tournament appearances in 2008-09 under McCallie as Duke was selected to the “Big Dance” for the 15th consecutive time and the seventh time in school history as a No. 1 seed. McCallie coached seniors Chante Black and Abby Waner, who were selected in the WNBA Draft, becoming the 12th and 13th players drafted in Blue Devil history. Black and Waner were selected No. 10 and No. 21, respectively, in the WNBA Draft in April by the Connecticut Sun and New York Liberty.
In her first season with the Blue Devils in 2007-08, McCallie led Duke to its 10th straight 25-win season with an appearance in the ACC Championship game and a trip to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in Oklahoma City, Okla., which marked the 11th consecutive appearance in the regional semifinals for the program. The NCAA Tournament appearance was its 14th straight and 15th overall tournament bid for the Blue Devils.
McCallie coached Duke’s 11th player drafted to the WNBA as Wanisha Smith was selected in the second round (27th overall) by the New York Liberty. Duke also saw a rise in attendance in McCallie’s first season. The Blue Devils ranked No. 10 nationally in attendance, while averaging a school-record 6,755 fans in 13 home contests.
McCallie has made her presence felt in the Durham and neighboring communities, as well as on campus. She has been the keynote speaker for the Durham Sports Club, Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation, Durham Chamber of Commerce - Professional Women’s Network, the Duke Club of Washington, D.C., Special Olympics, N.C. High School Coaches Association, Hospice, the Hays Barton United Methodist Church and the Raleigh Sports Club. She participated in a panel discussion on campus for Women at Duke. She has also participated in the Duke Children’s Hospital Radiothon as well as being a spokeswoman for Duke Women’s Health. A huge advocate for youth development, McCallie and the Duke women’s basketball team have developed a relationship with a local non-profit organization, The Emily K Center, by participating in after school leadership programs. In addition, Duke hosted the 2010 and 2013 Jimmy V Women’s Basketball Classic as part of Jimmy V Week, an initiative that benefits the V Foundation for Cancer Research. McCallie’s four-year term on the WBCA Board of Directors concluded in August of 2015.
In addition to being the national chairperson for the Duke Cancer Fund, Coach P and the Blue Devils have community partnerships in the surrounding area they help with each year -- Duke Cancer Institute, The Ronald McDonald House, Duke Children’s Hospital, Duke Women’s Health, Melanoma Research Alliance and the Emily Krzyzewski Center -- while also participating in other activities to help the community.
Coach P created the “Choice Not Chance” kids club whose philosophy focuses on making the correct choices in life. The philosophy is widely used by McCallie, her staff and players, who are very active in the community speaking about “CNC.” In its inaugural year the program received memberships of over 100 children who are entering the eighth grade or under.
Coach P added author to her already impressive resume in 2012 as she published the book “Choice Not Chance.” Over her 25-year coaching career, McCallie has developed and refined the “Choice Not Chance” philosophy that focuses teaching her players and kids at large how to think and focus on making correct choices in life. Choice Not Chance highlights the lessons she has learned throughout her life such as “Going against the grain,” “Never become satisfied,” and “Enjoying the prospect of getting better daily.”
With a foreword by Duke head men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, the book has received acclaim from other public figures including Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach Joe Ciampi, two U.S. Senators and Duke University Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White.
Another tradition introduced in McCallie’s first season was the Coach P Radio Show, a first for the women’s basketball program at Duke. The show is hosted by Chris Edwards on 620 AM The Bull, and performed live once a month during the season.
In October 2008, embracing McCallie’s vision, the program launched its first True Blue Golf Classic. The Duke University Golf Club played host to 112 golfers, in an effort to raise money for the program.
Coach P has an undying passion to develop people into winners. She is only one of four coaches who have taken three different programs to the NCAA Tournament. McCallie is also one of two coaches to guide her teams to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament at two different schools. She has three National Championship game appearances in her career and has been named conference coach of the year five times. Coach P has coached 13 players who have received All-America honors. In her 25-year head coaching career, her teams have reached 20 wins 20 times.
Player development is a key component to Coach P’s philosophy. During McCallie’s career she has seen 12 of her former players go on to play professionally. Eight players have been first round WNBA Draft picks: Cindy Blodgett, Kristin Haynie, Elizabeth Shimek, Chante Black, Jasmine Thomas, Chelsea Gray, Tricia Liston and Elizabeth Williams. In the WNBA offseason, these players, as well as Haley Peters, Joy Cheek, Bridgette Mitchell, Kathleen Scheer, Shay Selby, Carrem Gay, Lindsay Bowen, Kelli Roehrig and Lorenda Haynes have enjoyed an overseas experience playing in countries such as Israel, Australia, Russia, Greece, France and Denmark. Coach P does not only produce great professional players, she also prepares players to be great coaches. Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, a former assistant coach at Michigan State under McCallie, is currently the head coach at Central Florida. Three others are head coaches at the D-I level -- Felisha Legette-Jack (Buffalo), Darren Bennett (Skidmore) and Candice Jackson (College of Charleston).
With Team USA, McCallie coached the FIBA U-21 World Championship team in Moscow, Russia from June 29 - July 8, 2007, where she led the USA squad to an 8-0 record and won the gold medal. Her team of college stars, including former Blue Devil Abby Waner, captured nine USA Basketball U-21 records by registering a 30.0 point average margin of victory, scoring 93 points per game, netting the highest three-point percentage and field goals during the championship. Defensively, three players sit atop the blocked shots charts and four out of five of the top rebounders were members of this team. Over the summer of 2006, McCallie guided the USA Basketball U-20 team to a 5-0 record and a gold medal in the FIBA Americas Championships in Mexico City. The squad outscored its opponents by an average of 62 points per game and set 28 USA Basketball U-20 records in the event including most points averaged, highest field goal percentage and most field goals and three-pointers made. For her team’s accomplishments, McCallie was named USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year.
Prior to coming to Duke, McCallie spent seven years at Michigan State University. While piloting the Spartans to a nationally elite level, McCallie, the 2005 Associated Press Coach of the Year, guided the Spartans to their first ever NCAA Final Four and national championship game appearance as well as their first ever NCAA Elite Eight and repeat Sweet Sixteen appearances, the programs’ second Big Ten regular season title and first ever Big Ten Tournament Championship in 2005. Under McCallie, the program collected four consecutive 20-win seasons and an 81-23 record over her final three years in East Lansing. The Spartans also posted a school-record four straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament. In 2005, Michigan State advanced to its first national championship game after earning the program’s first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That record-setting team won 33 games (10 more than the previous record), won 14 Big Ten contests, shared just its second Big Ten regular-season championship, won its first Big Ten Tournament title, finished 13-0 at home, achieved a school-record 17-game win streak and beat 13 nationally-ranked teams. Over her seven-year stint in East Lansing, the Spartans also defeated 25 ranked opponents.
For her efforts, McCallie was named 2005 National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, Basketball Times and Nike, as well as being voted Big Ten Coach of the Year by the league’s media members. It marked the first time an MSU women’s basketball coach was named national coach of the year and the second time a Spartan head coach earned the conference’s coach of the year award. McCallie was also named the 2005 Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan College Coach of the Year.
Under McCallie, Michigan State saw its fan base increase dramatically as well, including a 78 percent rise since her arrival. The team set season attendance records in four out of her final five seasons, including a school-record average of 6,787 fans in 2005-06, which ranked 10th nationally. The Spartans were ranked second in attendance in the Big Ten and ninth nationally during McCallie’s final season with an average of 6,646 fans a game. At the time of McCallie’s departure from MSU, all of the Spartan top 15 single-game crowds in program history came during Coach P’s tenure, including a school-record 14,066 against Ohio State in a nationally televised game on Feb. 20, 2005. Prior to her arrival at MSU, the women’s basketball program averaged only 1,506 fans per game in 1999-2000.
During her eight-year career at Maine, McCallie guided the Black Bears to seven straight 20-win campaigns, including a 20-11 overall record (in 1999-2000) and their sixth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. She was named coach of the year on three occasions, twice in the North Atlantic Conference (1995 and 1996) and once in the America East (1999). For her efforts, Maine honored her in 2009 with a banner as one of its top coaches in school history.
While at Maine, McCallie organized an event called “Realizing the Dream: Celebrating Women in Athletics” that featured speakers Dr. Donna Lopiano and Sheryl Swoopes. During the 1997-98 season, Dana Rae Warren filmed a documentary of the Maine women’s basketball season. McCallie was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004. In October of 2005, she was inducted into the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honor as well as the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in June of 2008 and the University of Maine Athletics Hall of Fame in October of 2009. Over the summer of 2014, McCallie was also inducted into the inaugural class of the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame.
Prior to becoming head coach at Maine in 1992-93, McCallie was an assistant coach at Auburn from 1988-92. As the team’s primary recruiter, she helped sign the fourth-ranked class in the nation in 1990-91 and the 16th-ranked class in the nation in 1991-92. While at Auburn, McCallie and the Tigers appeared in two national championship games and made an appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight.
A native of Brunswick, Maine, McCallie owns a career mark of 589-219 during her 25-year stint as a head coach at Maine, Michigan State and Duke. As a coach and player, she has led her teams to 16 conference titles, 25 NCAA Tournament appearances, 11 NCAA Sweet 16 appearances, eight NCAA Elite Eight appearances, three NCAA Final Four appearances and three NCAA Championship game appearances.
The former Joanne Palombo played her collegiate basketball at Northwestern from 1984-87. She still ranks seventh in Wildcat history with 378 career assists. As a senior, she was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection and helped lead the Wildcats to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. McCallie also was named Academic All-Big Ten First-Team as a senior.
McCallie graduated from Northwestern in 1987 with a degree in political science and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Auburn in 1990. The McCallie family includes husband John, daughter Madeline (Maddie - 22) and son John Wyatt (Jack - 16). Maddie played on the women’s basketball teams at Elon and Miami (Ohio), before graduating from Elon in 2017. The family resides in Durham, N.C.
The Coach P File
National Coach of the Year Associated Press...................................................... 2005 Basketball Times...................................................... 2005 Nike............................................................................. 2005
Conference Coach of the Year Atlantic Coast Conference............... 2013, 2012, 2010 Big Ten....................................................................... 2005 America East ............................................................ 1999 North Atlantic................................................. 1996, 1995
Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan College Coach of the Year Michigan State.......................................................... 2005