Hammer Named Millikin Head Women’s Basketball Coach

Millikin University Director of Athletics Dr. Craig White is excited to announce Kirsten Hammer as the new head coach for Millikin’s women’s basketball program. Hammer will become only the fourth head coach in program history.

“Coach Hammer’s credentials and experience in a program with a great reputation like UW-Whitewater brought her to the top of our applicant pool,” said White. “I strongly believe she is the right person to lead our program and maintain the level of excellence found in the Millikin women’s basketball program.”

Hammer will be joining Millikin after spending five seasons on the staff at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Hammer joined the Warhawk staff in 2019 as an assistant coach and served as Whitewater’s associate head coach the last two seasons. She also served as a lecturer in UW-Whitewater’s Department of Health, Human Performance, Recreation and Coaching.

“I want to thank President Reynolds, Athletic Director Craig White and the entire search committee for giving me the opportunity to join the Big Blue Family,” said Hammer. “I am excited to take the next step in my career and continue to build on the success of the Millikin Women’s Basketball Program. I am beyond grateful to have been part of an amazing group at UW-Whitewater and thank Coach, Keri Carollo, the players, staff and the Whitewater community for all their support these past five years.”

In 2023-24, Hammer helped guide the Warhawks to a 25-5 record. UW-Whitewater went 3-1 in the NCAA Tournament before losing in the round of eight. Hammer is knowledgeable about the current Millikin program with the Big Blue playing four games at Whitewater in the last two seasons. Millikin played two games in the NCAA Tournament at Whitewater in 2023-24 earning a win over Willamette before falling to the Warhawks 89-65. UW-Whitewater posted a win over the Big Blue in 2022-23 in an early season tournament.

As the associate head coach under Keri Carollo the last three season, Hammer coached three NCAA Tournament teams including appearances in the national championship game, the elite eight and the final 16. She coached the 2024 Jostens Trophy winner, two All-Americans and the three-time WIAC Player of the Year.

Hammer was a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) 30 under 30 honoree in 2022.

In 2018-19, Hammer was an assistant coach at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. She was named as Interim Head Coach from March to May in 2019 serving in that role until a permanent head coach was announced in early May.

Hammer played two seasons (2012-14) at UW-Whitewater and was a student assistant coach for her final two years as an undergraduate (2014-16). The team made back-to-back trips to the Final Four and earned consecutive WIAC championships in 2013 and 2014, and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2016. Hammer  served as a graduate assistant coach for the Warhawks from 2016-18, helping the team win back-to-back Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament titles.
The Warhawks swept the WIAC regular season and tournament championships and hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in 2017-18, when Hammer was part of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Women’s College Coaching Staff of the Year.

Hammer earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education (health, human performance and recreation) with a minor in business management in 2016. She received her master’s in professional development (athletic administration) from UW-Whitewater in 2018. Following graduation, Hammer served as a video coordinator and basketball operations intern with the Seattle Storm of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in the summer of 2016. 

Hammer replaces Olivia Lett who left Millikin earlier this month to take the head coaching position at NCAA Division II program, the University of Illinois Springfield.


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