Duke hires McCallie from Michigan State

Published 9:13 pm Thursday, April 19, 2007

By By JOEDY McCREARY, AP Sports Writer
Joanne P. McCallie was hired as Duke’s women’s basketball coach, leaving Michigan State and following the AP national coach of the year at one of the country’s premier programs.
She guided the Spartans to the 2005 national championship game and succeeds Gail Goestenkors, who left for Texas. McCallie informed Michigan State’s players of her decision Wednesday and will be introduced at a news conference Friday in Durham, N.C.
The 41-year-old McCallie leaves the Spartans less than a month after signing a new contract that boosted her base salary by about $100,000, and two years after the best season in school history.
Michigan State won a school-record 33 games in 2005 and capped a memorable season by reaching the national championship game. The run earned McCallie the national coach of the year award from The Associated Press.
Goestenkors earned the award after leading the Blue Devils to the first 29-0 regular season in school and Atlantic Coast Conference history. Duke finished 32-2 — an NCAA-record seventh straight 30-win season.
She led Duke to five straight ACC tournament championships from 2000-04, 13 consecutive NCAA tournaments and at least two wins in each appearance in the NCAAs since 1997.
Duke has reached the national championship game twice, most recently in 2006, and finished this season No. 1 in the final AP poll of the season. Now, the Blue Devils are counting on McCallie to help them take the next step — their first national title.
McCallie — colloquially known as ‘‘Coach P’’ because of her maiden name, Palombo — has a career record of 316-148 in 15 seasons at Michigan State and Maine. She leaves Michigan State after going 149-75 in seven seasons there, and reaching the past five NCAA tournaments. The Spartans’ season came to an abrupt end with a 70-57 loss to Rutgers in the second round.
After being rumored as a candidate for several high-profile jobs, McCallie signed a five-year contract worth $500,000 a year plus a possible $143,000 in incentives on March 24 — coincidentally, the same day Duke’s season ended with a last-second loss to those same Scarlet Knights in the regional semifinals.
Shortly after that, Texas offered the job to Goestenkors and she deliberated for about a week before accepting it this month, ending her 15-year run with the Blue Devils. California’s Joanne Boyle, a former Duke player, turned down the job last week and agreed to a seven-year contract with the Golden Bears.
McCallie becomes the second straight Duke coach with ties to the state of Michigan. Goestenkors is a Waterford, Mich., native who played at Saginaw Valley State.
AP Sports Writers Aaron Beard in Raleigh, N.C., and Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report.