JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (July 21, 2009) - After leading the Lady Buccaneer basketball program to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, head coach Karen Kemp was given a contract extension through the 2012 season, announced Tuesday by ETSU Director of Athletics Dave Mullins. In addition, after spending the past three seasons as an assistant coach, DeShawne Blocker has been promoted to Associate Head Coach.
Kemp, ETSU's all-time winningest coach at 214 wins, has guided the Lady Bucs to three straight 20-plus win seasons as well as consecutive trips to postseason play since the start of the 2006 campaign. The 2008 Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year has also directed her Lady Buccaneer squad to a program-tying four straight winning seasons, while averaging 14.5 conference wins per year since joining the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2005. Kemp put her ETSU team in the national spotlight over the past couple seasons, as the Lady Bucs ranked seventh in the country in steals (12.0) this past year and in 2007 (12.1), while posting the 14th best scoring offense (75.1) in 2008.
"Coach Kemp has taken our program to levels we have never reached before, with back-to-back NCAA trips," said Mullins. "She has consistently recruited talented players, and even now we have a team capable of winning again. We believe coach Kemp is very deserving of this contract extension and we look forward to her being our coach for many years to come."
Blocker, who has been considered one of the best players to sport the Lady Buccaneer uniform, was moved from assistant to associate head coach by Kemp. The former ETSU standout played for Kemp during the 1994-95 season, and is only one of two Lady Buccaneer players to finish her career with over 2,000 points (2,086) and 1,000 rebounds (1,361). Since arriving to Kemp's staff in 2006, Blocker has made huge strides in recruiting and developing the post players. Last season Blocker saw Latisha Belcher (
"Coach Blocker has shown a tremendous amount of commitment to ETSU, both during her playing career and as a coach to our women's basketball program," commented Mullins. "Her promotion to associate head coach is an indication of what she has brought to our program and her success in developing these players."
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