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Lady Lions Hire Marquette’s Carolyn Kieger As Head Coach

Update 5 p.m. April 3: Penn State women’s basketball officially announced Carolyn Kieger’s hiring.

“We are thrilled to have Carolyn Kieger joining the Penn State family as the leader of our women’s basketball program,” athletic director Sandy Barbour said in a release. “Carolyn has rapidly established herself as one of the nation’s premier head coaches. We are excited about the expertise, passion, compassion, leadership, and enthusiasm Carolyn will bring to our program and its students.”

Kieger’s contract is subject to approval from the Penn State Board of Trustees’ committee on compensation. She’s slated to become the sixth head coach in Lady Lion history.

“As a competitor, you want to challenge yourself to become your very best and to compete at the highest level and for a chance to win national championships every season,” Kieger said in a release. “I’m thrilled for the next challenge of my career to compete for national championships as a part of the Penn State family, and I am incredibly grateful to President Barron and Sandy Barbour this opportunity. Penn State has a rich tradition and I look forward to doing my part to enhance that tradition and bring the program back to national prominence.”

Original Story: The search for a new leader of Penn State women’s basketball appears to be over.

According to Fansided reporter Blake DuDonis, Carolyn Kieger will reportedly be named the Lady Lions’ next head coach after longtime bench boss Coquese Washington and Penn State mutually agreed to part ways last month.

Kieger is considered a rising star in the women’s basketball coaching ranks. She spent the last five seasons of her career as Marquette’s head coach, and her team accumulated a record of 99-64 during that time.

The 35-year old’s tenure in charge of the Golden Eagles didn’t get off to the best start with 9-22 and 14-16 records in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, respectively, but Marquette has won at least 24 games and qualified for the NCAA tournament in each of the past three seasons. Her team won the Big East tournament following the 2016-17 regular season and followed that up by winning the conference’s regular season title in each of the past two seasons.

Marquette came up just short of two Big East tournament titles in three years after losing this year’s conference championship game to DePaul. Although she’s had plenty of regular season success, Kieger hasn’t been able to translate that to the national tournament just yet — she hasn’t advanced past the second round of the NCAA tournament in five seasons with the Golden Eagles.

If Kieger’s hiring is made official, she’ll replace Coquese Washington after her contract expired at the end of this season. The Lady Lions have fallen on hard times of late — they haven’t qualified for the NCAA tournament in each of the past five seasons and are coming off a 12-18 regular season and first-round Big Ten tournament exit in 2018-19.

Washington finished her tenure in charge of Penn State with a 209-169 record, including a 98-106 mark in conference play. Her team made four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 2011-2014, but it never advanced past the Sweet Sixteen.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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