Penn State has a new coach just under a month after parting ways with Coquese Washington.
Carolyn Kieger is leaving Marquette and is set to be announced as the new Lady Lions’ head coach, the program announced on Wednesday.
"We are thrilled to have Carolyn Kieger joining the Penn State family as the leader of our women's basketball program," Vice President of Athletics Sandy Barbour said in a statement. "Carolyn has rapidly established herself as one of the nation’s premier head coaches, leading Marquette to two Big East Championships, a Big East Tournament title and three NCAA Tournaments in the past three years. During her tenure as the head coach at Marquette and an assistant at Miami (Fla.), Carolyn has demonstrated the ability to recruit and develop outstanding young women on and off the court, including the last two Big East Player of the Year recipients.
“We are excited about the expertise, passion, compassion, leadership and enthusiasm Carolyn will bring to our program and its students, and to her engagement with recruits, our Lady Lion alumni and fans in returning Penn State to a position of competing for championships, with continued academic achievement and community impact.”
Kieger led the Golden Eagles to a 27-8 record this past season and landed in the tournament as a No. 5 seed.
Kieger’s career record is 72-56.
Marquette went on to win its first game of the tournament against Rice before its season came to an end after a loss to Texas A&M.
Kieger was named Big East Co-Coach of the Year in 2017-18 after leading the Golden Eagles to a program best 15-3 conference record and their first Big East regular season title.
Kieger graduated from Marquette in 2006 and has five seasons of head coaching experience under her belt. Prior to her time coaching Marquette, Kieger was the assistant coach at the University of Miami for six years.
When Kieger took over the Golden Eagles program in 2014, they were in desperate need of a rebuild, and that’s exactly what was provided.
“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 told GoPSUsports. “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 for this opportunity. I’m excited to build upon the Penn State women’s basketball legacy. 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. My staff and I will work relentlessly to help our student-athletes become the best people, students and players they can be and through that process we will win at the highest level.”
In that 2014-2015 season Marquette finished with a record of just 9-22, but the next season the team finished just under .500, and the following year brought a 25-8 record, the program’s first 20 win season since 2013-2014.
Penn State is in a situation very similar to that of when Kieger took over the Golden Eagles, and that’s what sparked the need for change.
The Lady Lions finished just 12-18 this season, their worst record since 2014-15, and exited the Big Ten Tournament on the first day.