Lauren Lewis Galvani Announced as Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Lees-McRae

 Lees-McRae College Vice President for Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail has named 2015 alumnus Lauren Lewis Galvani the new Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Lees-McRae.

“Lauren’s success in building a successful program, with great culture at Independence High School is impressive,” said McPhail. “I watched her play in our uniform in Williams Gymnasium with great pride and passion. As an alum, she brings these traits as we look forward to creating great memories for our young women.”

Galvani, a 2015 Lees-McRae graduate, returns to Banner Elk, after guiding the Independence women’s basketball program to nine years and a record of 127-95, the largest turnaround in North Carolina during that time. Galvani is the all-time winningest coach at Independence, a three-time Southwestern Conference Coach of the Year and posted a record of 95-28 in the past five seasons.

“Lees-McRae and the town of Banner Elk is a special place. The decision to come to Lees-McRae and play for Coach Michelle Williams was one of the best I’ve ever made,” said Galvani. “I am so grateful to President Lee King and Craig McPhail for the opportunity to be back on the mountain as head coach of this program.”

In 2022-23, Galvani held an undefeated conference record (12-0), the first in school history, and ranked as the number one team in various local and state polls during the 2020-21, 2022-23, and 2023-24 seasons. She has coached three Southwestern Conference Player of the Year recipients and has made six postseason appearances, four conference tournament championship appearances, two Sweet Sixteen appearances, and one Elite Eight appearance at Independence.

“In watching her coach over the years, I have been impressed with her sideline presence, the involvement with her student-athletes on and off the court, the accountability as well as relationships she has built,” said McPhail. “I am convinced there will be plenty of young women now look at Lees-McRae as a place to continue their basketball career.”

Galvani also serves as the Assistant Coach of Team Curry – Girls Under Armour Association where the team competes in the Under Armour Circuit as a Top 20 nationally ranked team.

During her collegiate career, Galvani was a two-sport student-athlete at Catawba College and Lees-McRae (softball and basketball). She garnered all-conference in 2014 while leading the league in three-point percentage, most three-point field goals made in a season, and finished in the top five of scoring in Conference Carolinas. During the 2014-15 season, Galvani was a student assistant for the Bobcat women’s basketball program.

“I’ve always felt a sense of unfinished business after taking off the green and gold jersey for the final time in 2015,” said Galvani. “I’m looking forward to building relationships and putting in work with our players and staff!”

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