Kari Duperron has been named as the Interim Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Allan Hancock College for the upcoming season, pending approval from the board of trustees.
“We’re very excited to welcome Coach Duperron to the Bulldogs family,” shared Athletic Director Kim Ensing. “Kari brings a wealth of knowledge and player development experience to the table. She is also very passionate about setting student-athletes up to succeed, both on and off the court, which is a high priority at this level. I’m looking forward to watching her lead the team this season and continuing to build on the success of our well-respected women’s basketball program.”
Prior to joining the Bulldogs, Duperron spent just over a decade on the sidelines for the women’s basketball team at Cal Poly (SLO) as the Associate Head Coach. During her tenure with the Mustangs, the squad went 99-87 in conference play, reached an NCAA Tournament along with two WNITs, won a Big West Tournament championship plus a regular-season conference title, and advanced to at least the league semifinals three times from 2018 to 2021. A former Mustang herself, Duperron worked her way up from a walk-on as a freshman to the team’s leader in minutes played as a junior and senior. In the latter year, she was a team captain and was awarded the conference’s Best Hustle Award. Today, Duperron still ranks No. 2 in school history for career steals (with 224), along with No. 11 in program history for assists (243).
For six of the 10 years since she came back to San Luis Obispo, Mustang players have won the same conference award for effort, including in 2019 when point guard Dye Stahley was selected for her second consecutive Best Hustle plaque in addition to earning a spot on the Big West All-Defensive Team.
In addition to being the program’s recruiting coordinator, Duperron worked closely with the Mustang guards. She has also coached one of 30 Senior CLASS Award candidates across the country in 2015, Ariana Elegado; the NCAA’s assist-to-turnover ratio leader in 2012, Jonae Ervin; Kristen Alé, who went on to play for the American Samoa National Team; and back-to-back 2019 & 2020 Big West All-Freshman honorees in Maddie Willett & Abbey Ellis. During the 2012-13 season, Duperron was responsible for coaching the post players which included a pair of Ernest Righetti High School graduates in Kristina Santiago and Molly Schlemer. Schlemer went on to become the 2013 Big West Player of the Year while Santiago became the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in school history. Both Santiago (in Bulgaria, Switzerland, and Israel) and Schlemer (Germany, Turkey, and Greece) went on to prominent professional careers overseas. She also pulled local area talent by bringing 2014 Ventura County Star Players of the Year, Dynn and Lynn Leaupepe, to the Mustangs squad from Camarillo High School.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to lead the women’s basketball program here at Allan Hancock,” Duperron shared. “This program has a great reputation throughout the state and I’m looking forward to building on the culture that has been established here. There is definitely going to be some hard work ahead with a short window before the fall semester begins, but I’m confident that we’ll get where we need to be for the upcoming season.
At Washington, Duperron coached an All-Pac-12 First Team member in Kristi Kingma and an all-conference defensive honorable mention in Charmaine Barlow. Also while in Seattle, she supervised the program’s academic progress and served as liaison to the Huskies’ Compliance Department. Before joining UW, Duperron spent two years as an assistant coach at UNLV. As the Lady Rebels’ camp director, she was heavily involved in the team’s community service and marketing, and conducted several free youth camps & pregame clinics.
Duperron began her coaching career at UCLA (2003-07), where she started as an intern before being promoted to director of operations and interim assistant coach. During the 2007-08 season, she returned to her high school, North Torrance, as the assistant boy’s varsity coach. Alongside her father, head coach Gary Duperron, the Saxons won their first league title since 1972.
Duperron graduated from Cal Poly in Business in 2003 and earned her master’s degree in Sports Management from Long Beach State in 2006.
Photo Courtesy AHC Athletics