The Charlotte 49ers athletic department, led by director of athletics Judy Rose, and Cara Consuegra have agreed on a contract extension, ensuring the head women’s basketball coach’s place at the charge of the program for the next four seasons. The new contract runs through March 31, 2021.
“I am extremely pleased to receive another commitment from Cara to continue leading our women’s basketball program,” Rose said. “She has surrounded herself with a great staff and our talent level in recruiting has increased each year.”
Consuegra is set to begin her seventh season with the program in 2017-18, matching her with Rose for the second-longest tenure in school history.
“My family and I are proud to serve such an outstanding University that aligns with our values,” Consuegra said. “Charlotte is a special place and that is first and foremost because of the people that are a part of this incredible community.
“I want to thank Judy Rose and Chancellor Dubois for their outstanding leadership and their continued belief in our vision for Charlotte women’s basketball. We are excited to continue our mission to transform the lives of our young women, both on and off the court.”
Consuegra enters this season with a 112-75 (.599) record, the second-most wins in school history. She surpassed Rose on the list early last year and then captured career victory No. 100 as the 49ers topped North Texas in the Conference USA opener, Dec. 30, 2016. Only Ed Baldwin’s 175 triumphs and 13 seasons rank higher than Consuegra in Charlotte history.
The 49ers have competed in four postseasons during her tenure, including advancing to the WNIT Sweet 16 in 2012-13, just her second year, as part of one of the most successful campaigns in school history with 26 victories.
Last year, the Niners received four all-conference honors and the senior class was among the most decorated in program history. Lefty Webster completed her career ranked fifth on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,503 points. An All-Conference USA Team selection each year during her career, she became only the second player in 49ers history to register 1400 points, 600 rebounds, 300 assists, 200 steals and 75 blocked shots.
Ciara Gregory capped her career by being the top sharpshooter in school history, owning five records for her efforts from behind the 3-point arc. Gregory set new standards for career 3-pointers made and attempted; single-season 3-pointers made and attempted; and single-game 3-pointers made. In addition, she became the 23rd member of the school’s 1,000-point club.
Player success under Consuegra has not only taken place domestically, but also internationally. Most recently, this summer rising junior Laia Raventós was a member of the gold medal Spain roster at the FIBA U20 European Championship. The first international signee under Consuegra, Raventós who opened her career with an All-Conference USA Freshman Team honor in 2015-16, continues to shine on a larger stage. It was also that same year, 2015-16, after which Consuegra was named to the inaugural Conference USA Coaches Circle.
Four former Charlotte players who have been coached by Consuegra have continued their careers on the professional levels in Europe upon graduation. Included in that group is the 2013 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, Jennifer Hailey. Hailey is one of only two conference players of the year in school history. Ny Hammonds, the school’s all-time leader in assists, also spent time overseas playing professionally.
With her teams consistently near the top of the Conference USA standings and with the support of Niner Nation, the 49ers continue to be showcased to wider audiences. This past year, the program was featured a record 18 times on various TV and streaming platforms, including a Conference USA-best 12 of 14 home games. Various networks to include Charlotte in their programing included ESPN3, American Sports Network, Campus Insiders, beIN SPORTS and UNC Charlotte TV.
Consuegra’s squad returns seven players from last year, including two starters, while seven newcomers are set to join the program in 2017-18.C-USA Cara Consuegra Charlotte