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Cal Women's Basketball

Kelly Cole Added to Women’s Basketball Staff

June 9, 2021
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BERKELEY – California women's basketball head coach Charmin Smith has announced another addition to her staff, adding Kelly Cole as an assistant coach. Cole joins the Golden Bears with over 20 years of coaching experience including the last seven as head coach at Northeastern.
 
"I am extremely excited to have Kelly join our program," Smith said. "I know first-hand from my first year as an assistant with Kelly on Cathy Inglese's staff at Boston College, the type of impact she has on a program. Kelly loves studying the game and is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic teacher. She also brings an energy and infectious personality that allows her to connect well with student-athletes.  We are all looking forward to her arrival in Bear Territory."
 
During her time at Northeastern, Cole established a winning culture, collecting 87 wins which ranks third all-time amongst Husky head coaches. Furthermore, she successfully led the program to its first-ever WNIT appearance in 2019 and helped Northeastern reach the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament quarterfinals in six consecutive seasons. Cole saw 15 players receive all-conference awards during her tenure while the Huskies also finished in the top four of the CAA in two of her last four years.
 
Before arriving at Northeastern, Cole spent two years as an assistant coach at Harvard where she led the Crimson to a 43-17 record, including a 22-6 mark in Ivy League play, and two WNIT appearances (2013, 2014). During the 2013-14 season, Harvard registered the second-most wins in program history (22) and became the first Ivy League program to earn an at-large berth into a postseason tournament, advancing to the second round of the WNIT for the second-consecutive season.
 
Cole and Charmin Smith spent one year together on staff at Boston College when they led the Eagles to the school's first Big East Title in 2004. Cole spent nine years on Boston College's staff with her last two as associate head coach. During her tenure in Chestnut Hill, the Eagles compiled a 192-89 mark, including a 93-53 conference record, and made seven trips to the NCAA tournament, including three appearances in the regional semifinals (2003, 2004, 2006). Boston College won 20 or more games in six of her nine seasons.
 
Cole began her collegiate coaching career at her alma mater, Northwestern, where she helped the Wildcats advance to the 1996 NWIT championship game (today's WNIT) and to the 1997 NCAA tournament. Northwestern won 40 games during her two years as a member of the staff (40-22) and compiled 17 conference wins within the Big Ten.
 
Originally from Milwaukie, Oregon, Cole graduated from Northwestern in 1991 with a degree in secondary education and English. She played four seasons for the Wildcats, serving as team captain from 1989 to 1991, and finished her career with 1,206 career points.
 
At Cal, Cole will focus on the offensive side of the ball, coordinating the offense and working with the guards in both skill and player development.
 
"Having the opportunity to work with Charmin again is very exciting," Cole said. "Working within the Pac-12 has always been a dream of mine, and after more than 20 years on the East Coast, I can't wait to come to the West Coast to work with a high-level school like Cal."

Kelly Cole Added to Women’s Basketball Staff

4,033 Views | 24 Replies | Last: 23 days ago by puget sound cal fan
ncbears
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To say she established a "winning culture" at Northeastern is ... a bit of a spin. Her record was 87-116 over seven seasons. This last (crazy) year, Northeastern went 7-13 overall and 6-10 in Colonial Athletic Association. Overall, Cols team's were 53-71 in conference and 2-6 in CAA postseason conference tournaments.

That said, Northeastern only has had 3 winning seasons since 2000 and Cole coached two of them.
stu
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The new Northeastern coach is Bridgette Mitchell:
https://nuhuskies.com/sports/womens-basketball/roster/coaches/bridgette-mitchell/2255

The text mentions recruiting, possibly that wasn't great under Kelly. FWIW Kelly had a better record (.437) than her two immediate predecessors (.364 and .370).
SFCALBear72
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Maybe after being let go by Northeastern, Coach Cole determined that she was better suited as an assistant coach rather than head coach (there were plenty of openings after last season). She was an assistant at Northwestern, Harvard and BC.

I'm happy to have her on the Cal bench.
UrsineMaximus
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Kinda meh on this hire especially if recruiting is an issue with Kelly. I thought the Pierre possibility would have been a good one. Anyone know what happened with that?
HoopDreams
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We had two coaching openings

I'm skeptical that we used those two chips in the best way possible

There are some good aspects about our new coaches but they don't jump out to me as improving or maintaining recruiting

wbbilluminati
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I think it's an intriguing hire. I actually think Charmin seems to be a stellar recruiter herself and while I was optimistic about Eliza I don't think anything was guaranteed in terms of her recruiting prowess at this level coming from her stint at UCSB.

I'm a little more intrigued by this hire than the other new assistant but right now we control our fate. We got all the recruits/talent we could possibly dream of in our situation so it's up to us to get some good W's next season
3Cats4CAL
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Maybe higher tier/ more desirable candidates don't see taking an assistant position at a last/lower place team in their league as very desirable? Why did all of those other coaching staff positions also open up? Where did they (Gholar, Lum, etc) all go to ?
SFCALBear72
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3Cats4CAL said:

Maybe higher tier/ more desirable candidates don't see taking an assistant position at a last/lower place team in their league as very desirable? Why did all of those other coaching staff positions also open up? Where did they (Gholar, Lum, etc) all go to ?



I did some research and this is what I found.
Shannon Gholar, former Director of Operations at Cal, is now an assistant coach for Loyola Marymount WBB. Before her time at Cal, Shannon was an assistant at Nevada.

Shannan Lum is now the MBB (yes, men's basketball) recruiting coordinator at Nebraska. I believe it was noted at the time of her hire that she was the first woman to hold such a position in MBB.

(Sidebar speculation: Eliza Pierre was an intern in the women's basketball operations department when she was at Cal. Could she come back as the Director of Basketball Operations??? Hmmmm)



Gobears49
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Do most of our women's basketball players come from the West Coast? If so, this new hire will have some catching up to do on that front, assuming she is given some responsibility in handling it.
SFCALBear72
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Gobears49 said:

Do most of our women's basketball players come from the West Coast? If so, this new hire will have some catching up to do on that front, assuming she is given some responsibility in handling it.

Yes.

Of the 15 players currently on the roster, 11 are from the West Coast (California, Washington and Arizona). We also have three International players and one from Texas.
mbBear
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HoopDreams said:

We had two coaching openings

I'm skeptical that we used those two chips in the best way possible

There are some good aspects about our new coaches but they don't jump out to me as improving or maintaining recruiting


Intentional move by Charmin. She wanted to make sure there were talking points for this board.
HoopDreams
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SFCALBear72 said:

Gobears49 said:

Do most of our women's basketball players come from the West Coast? If so, this new hire will have some catching up to do on that front, assuming she is given some responsibility in handling it.

Yes.

Of the 15 players currently on the roster, 11 are from the West Coast (California, Washington and Arizona). We also have three International players and one from Texas.

You are correct sir!


Fyght4Cal
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Welcome to Bear Territory, Coach Cole!
Patience is a virtue, but I’m not into virtue signaling these days.
puget sound cal fan
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It will be interesting to see Cole's role evolve vsv. Charmin and the other assistants.
calumnus
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wbbilluminati said:

I think it's an intriguing hire. I actually think Charmin seems to be a stellar recruiter herself and while I was optimistic about Eliza I don't think anything was guaranteed in terms of her recruiting prowess at this level coming from her stint at UCSB.

I'm a little more intrigued by this hire than the other new assistant but right now we control our fate. We got all the recruits/talent we could possibly dream of in our situation so it's up to us to get some good W's next season


That is the way I see it. Charmin worked with her before and knows she can help improve us on offense. With improved X's and O's coaching, Charmin can land top talent. Moreover, as a former head coach herself she can take over some of the administrative work, freeing Charmin to do more recruiting. Being recruited by the head coach and establishing a relationship with them is far more powerful than being recruited by an assistant.
Fyght4Cal
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calumnus said:

wbbilluminati said:

I think it's an intriguing hire. I actually think Charmin seems to be a stellar recruiter herself and while I was optimistic about Eliza I don't think anything was guaranteed in terms of her recruiting prowess at this level coming from her stint at UCSB.

I'm a little more intrigued by this hire than the other new assistant but right now we control our fate. We got all the recruits/talent we could possibly dream of in our situation so it's up to us to get some good W's next season


That is the way I see it. Charmin worked with her before and knows she can help improve us on offense. With improved X's and O's coaching, Charmin can land top talent. Moreover, as a former head coach herself she can take over some of the administrative work, freeing Charmin to do more recruiting. Being recruited by the head coach and establishing a relationship with them is far more powerful than being recruited by an assistant.
^*continue* to land top talent.
Patience is a virtue, but I’m not into virtue signaling these days.
ClayK
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Xs and Os are not complicated. There are sources everywhere that can deliver complete systems or specific plays. If not, just watch other games and steal what you like.

The key is for the coaches to understand the system and have their players believe in it.

That said, having an "Xs and Os" coach means nothing to recruits, who will hear the same thing from every program. What gets recruits to come to a school usually begins with a connection to one of the recruiters, and then gets into potential playing time, location, academics, etc.

Having someone who can draw up plays is not even on the list.
UrsineMaximus
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I don't know all the responsibilities of a college basketball head coach but given that a team will actively recruit 10 - 12 players, why wouldn't a HC be active in recruiting all of them. Or am I oversimplifying it?
philbert
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ClayK said:

Xs and Os are not complicated. There are sources everywhere that can deliver complete systems or specific plays. If not, just watch other games and steal what you like.

The key is for the coaches to understand the system and have their players believe in it.

That said, having an "Xs and Os" coach means nothing to recruits, who will hear the same thing from every program. What gets recruits to come to a school usually begins with a connection to one of the recruiters, and then gets into potential playing time, location, academics, etc.

Having someone who can draw up plays is not even on the list.
What did you think of Gottlieb's system while at Cal?
ClayK
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I didn't think much of Gottlieb's coaching, but the issue wasn't Xs and Os, it was talent. If she had some shooters, they wouldn't have had to try to jam the ball inside so much -- but she didn't. (I remember talking to her once and her saying "We try to recruit shooters.")

But regardless, the recruits aren't going to be swayed by what kind of offense is run, or the Xs and Os expertise of an assistant. They want a good connection with coaches and players, nice facilities, a path to playing time and a shot at playing in the tournament. Saying that Kelly Cole can draw up great plays during timeouts isn't going to move the recruiting needle.
philbert
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ClayK said:

I didn't think much of Gottlieb's coaching, but the issue wasn't Xs and Os, it was talent. If she had some shooters, they wouldn't have had to try to jam the ball inside so much -- but she didn't. (I remember talking to her once and her saying "We try to recruit shooters.")

But regardless, the recruits aren't going to be swayed by what kind of offense is run, or the Xs and Os expertise of an assistant. They want a good connection with coaches and players, nice facilities, a path to playing time and a shot at playing in the tournament. Saying that Kelly Cole can draw up great plays during timeouts isn't going to move the recruiting needle.
I think a good system can free up players for easier shots. It doesn't have to be just shots in the paint or 3s. So if adding Cole gets more players easier shots (and leads to more winning), then shouldn't that be more attractive to recruits? I think players also want to win and play in a system that will develop and showcase their skills. And I agree with all of the other stuff you cited.
HoopDreams
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A new coach can change the offensive scheme, style and strategy

Coaching offense is more than X&Os drawings up plays

Ask Monty
calumnus
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ClayK said:

I didn't think much of Gottlieb's coaching, but the issue wasn't Xs and Os, it was talent. If she had some shooters, they wouldn't have had to try to jam the ball inside so much -- but she didn't. (I remember talking to her once and her saying "We try to recruit shooters.")

But regardless, the recruits aren't going to be swayed by what kind of offense is run, or the Xs and Os expertise of an assistant. They want a good connection with coaches and players, nice facilities, a path to playing time and a shot at playing in the tournament. Saying that Kelly Cole can draw up great plays during timeouts isn't going to move the recruiting needle.


Winning brings in top recruits. Improved offense = more winning.

Being recruited by the head coach directly rather than an assistant, especially a great recruiter like Charmin, brings in top recruits. To the extent Kelly can help take other duties off of Charmin's plate it allows her more time to recruit.
puget sound cal fan
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...and Charmin was Gottlieb's top recruiter.
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