WNBA Legend Candice Dupree Named Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Tennessee State

Tennessee State University Director of Athletics, Dr. Mikki Allen, has appointed Candice Dupree, a seven-time WNBA All-Star and assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, as the 13th head coach in program history.

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to lead and coach the future of women’s basketball at Tennessee State University,” said Dupree. “I am eager to continue building our program in alignment with the incredible culture and values embodied within the Tiger Family. It is an honor to be entrusted with upholding the tradition and legacy of TSU while embracing the evolving landscape of sports. Most importantly, I am committed to nurturing the holistic development of our student-athletes.”

Dupree, who enjoyed a 16-season career in the Women’s National Basketball Association, takes over the Lady Tigers after two seasons with the Spurs. In her capacity, Dupree played a pivotal role in nurturing one of the NBA’s youngest rosters, working with talents such as the 2023 No. 1 overall pick and NBA Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama, Jeremy Sochan, and Devin Vassell.

“Hiring Candice Dupree marks a pivotal moment in our pursuit of excellence,” said Allen. “Her legendary playing career and success as an NBA assistant coach in player development bring unmatched expertise to our women’s basketball program. We’re excited to welcome her championship mindset and global influence within the basketball community, setting the stage for unprecedented success here at Tennessee State University.”

Following her retirement from the WNBA in 2021, Dupree embarked on a new journey by participating in the NBA Coaching Development Program. She honed her skills in building scouting reports, analyzing film across various platforms, and expanding her professional network. Dupree’s initial coaching venture began at the NBA draft combine, where she led a team of prospects. Dupree’s association with the Spurs began when she served as an assistant guest coach for the Spurs’ Summer League in July 2022. Two months later, Dupree was appointed as a player development coach.

The former Temple Owl star had the opportunity to learn under one of the most prolific NBA coaches Gregg Popovich. Dupree became the second former WNBA to coach under Popovich after Becky Hammon served as an assistant with San Antonio from 2014-22.

Before transitioning to coaching, Dupree had a distinguished career following her selection as the sixth overall pick by the Chicago Sky in the 2006 draft. Her remarkable journey, spanning five teams, includes recognition on the all-rookie team and securing seven All-Star appearances. Throughout her 494 career games, Dupree maintained an impressive average of 14.4 points per game and 6.4 rebounds.

Currently, Dupree holds third place all-time in WNBA history in made field goals (2,842), fifth in career points (6,895), fifth in games played, and seventh in total rebounds (3,149).

Dupree secured her first WNBA championship with the Phoenix Mercury in 2014, guiding them to a 3–0 finals sweep over her former team, the Chicago Sky. She made significant contributions in the championship-clinching game, tallying 24 points and 6 assists. Throughout the 2014 season, Dupree played a pivotal role in a formidable lineup alongside Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, as the Mercury achieved a record-breaking regular season record of 29–5 on their path to the title.

Her tenure with the Mercury saw Dupree setting numerous records, including 10 double-doubles during the 2011 season and four consecutive double-doubles from June 10 to 21. She left an indelible mark on the franchise with 34 double-digit rebounding games, the most in its history, including three of the top four single-game rebounding efforts. Her 19 rebounds on Sept. 3, 2011, set a then-Mercury record.

In addition to her WNBA achievements, Dupree claimed the Hungarian League Championship in 2019 and earned gold medals at the 2004 World University Games and the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cups while representing Team USA.

Dupree showcased her talents at Temple University, from 2002 to 2006, playing for her former coach and current South Carolina basketball Coach Dawn Staley, the reigning NCAA Women’s Champion and two-time winner. Under Coach Staley, Dupree was a standout for the Owls. Dupree’s contributions led to her number being retired by the university, marking her as one of two Temple women’s basketball players to receive this honor.

“I am thrilled to welcome Candice Dupree to the coaching ranks in women’s college basketball,” said Staley. “I commend TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover and Dr. Allen for choosing someone who I know has excelled at every level – as a standout collegiate and professional basketball player, as well as an NBA coach. Dupree’s hiring will further elevate the women’s college basketball game.”

She ranks second all-time at TU in field goal percentage (51.4%), sixth in scoring (1,698), fifth in rebounds (968), and is tied for second in blocked shots (218). In recognition of her outstanding achievements, Dupree was inducted into the Temple Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.

During her four-year tenure at Temple, Dupree led the program to its most successful period in program history. The Owls clinched three conference titles, won 73 games, including a school-record 25 consecutive contests, and maintained a presence in the national rankings for 27 straight weeks. Dupree’s stellar performance earned her two-time Atlantic 10 Player of the Year honors and a Third Team All-America selection.

Dupree is responsible for leading a TSU program that has earned OVC Tournament berths in three consecutive seasons, securing opening-round victories in 2022 and 2024.

A formal press conference and reception to officially introduce Dupree will take place with dates and times to be announced at a later date.


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