Kellie Harper Fired As Lady Vols Basketball Coach

  • Monday, April 1, 2024
Kellie Harper
Kellie Harper

University of Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Danny White announced on Monday a leadership change with Tennessee women's basketball as head coach Kellie Harper will not return as head coach next season.

"After a thorough review of our women's basketball program, I have informed Kellie we are making a change in leadership," said White. "Decisions like these are never easy to make, especially with someone who has done so much for the Lady Vols as a three-time national champion student-athlete. Her love and passion for Tennessee and the Lady Vols is second to none. She has invested so much heart and soul into our program and truly has given her all for Tennessee. I thank Kellie for her stewardship of our women's basketball program and wish her and Jon well in the next chapter of their lives."

A nationwide search will begin immediately.

"After seeking input from our student-athletes, I will begin an aggressive search process to find the next leader for our iconic women's basketball program," said White. "To protect the integrity of this process, you will not hear from me until we are ready to announce our new head coach."

One of only two skippers to guide four different programs to the NCAA Tournament, the 1999 UT graduate and three-time national champion point guard Harper led the Vols to a 108-52 record (53-24 in conference play) in her five seasons as head coach on Rocky Top.

"It has been an honor to serve at my alma mater and to coach a Lady Vol program I love so dearly," Harper said. "I am grateful for the opportunity my staff and I have had to lead an amazing group of young women and to mentor them on the court as well as provide them with life skills that will benefit them far beyond the game of basketball."

In her 20th year as a head coach, Harper owns a career record of 393-260 and has directed her teams to 16 postseason appearances (9 NCAA, 7 WNIT) as a head coach.

She led UT to back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16s in 2021-22 and 2022-23.

Harper guided UT to four straight third-place SEC finishes from 2020-23 and to the 2023 SEC Tournament Championship game, the program's first appearance since 2015.

As a college player, Harper was part of a women's basketball dynasty at Tennessee. As a junior, she helped guide the Lady Vols to a 39-0 record and their third-straight national championship.

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