Duke women’s basketball head coach Kara Lawson announced Wednesday the addition of Karen Lange as assistant coach.
Lange spent the past seven years at the University of Georgia as associate head coach, where she helped lead the Bulldogs to 140 victories, a .651 winning percentage and 64 wins in SEC play. Lange and the Georgia squad advanced to four NCAA Tournaments, earning top-four seeds in 2018 and 2021.
“I am thrilled to welcome Karen Lange and her family to Duke,” said Lawson. “She is an outstanding coach, one that will help our players improve and reach their potential. Her experience and accomplishments speak for themselves. Karen is a respected tactician and holds herself to high standards which makes her a perfect fit for Duke.”
Lange played a crucial role in developing Georgia’s guards over the last seven years – a group that finished near the top of the SEC in assists and among the league’s best in assist-to-turnover ratio in each of her years. She helped lead the Bulldogs to a second-place ledger in the 2017-18 SEC standings and a spot in the 2021 SEC Tournament finals.
“I’m excited to become a part of the Duke family and Kara’s staff,” said Lange. “I look forward to working to build on the Duke tradition and to compete in the ACC. Duke is symbolic with excellence in every area and it has always been important to me to surround myself and my family with that kind of standard for success. Growing and impacting our young women along with helping Kara in any way possible is what I am committed to doing at Duke.”
Prior to her arrival at Georgia, Lange spent four seasons at Charlotte, including two years as associate head coach. In addition, she served as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech for seven seasons from 1997-2004 and at Kansas for six seasons from 2004-10. Lange was head coach at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas, during the 2010-11 campaign.
Lange was a standout point guard at Iowa from 1992-96 as the former Karen Clayton. She was a teammate of current Duke assistant coach Tia Jackson during their collegiate days with the Hawkeyes, which included a trip to the NCAA Final Four in 1993.
As a player, Lange was a member of Iowa teams that reached three NCAA Tournaments, following the 1993 Final Four appearance with trips to the 1994 second round and 1996 “Sweet 16.” She also helped Iowa capture Big Ten Championships in 1993 and 1996.
Lange has enjoyed stellar success recruiting and developing perimeter players throughout her coaching tenure. She brought consensus high school All-Americans such as Dawn Chriss and Angel Goodrich to Virginia Tech and Kansas, respectively. Such talent continued to blossom under Lange’s tutelage. Her work with guards has produced three All-Americans (Lisa Witherspoon at Virginia Tech and Goodrich and Danielle McCray at Kansas), one freshman All-American (Carrie Mason at Virginia Tech), five conference end-of-season award winners, 21 all-conference honorees and three future WNBA players (Kerri Gardin at Virginia Tech and Goodrich and McCray at Kansas).
As both a player and a coach, her teams have been a mainstay in the postseason. That ledger includes Iowa’s first trip to the Final Four in 1993, Virginia Tech’s first NCAA “Sweet 16” appearance in 1999, Kansas’ runner-up finish in the 2009 WNIT and Charlotte’s advancement to the WNIT Round of 16 in 2013.
Lange graduated from Iowa with honors in 1996, receiving her bachelor’s degree in exercise science. She and her husband Cory have two children — daughter Ashlyn and son Ty.ACC Duke