JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 26, 2010) - Four 20-plus win campaigns.
Four straight postseason appearances.
Three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.
These accomplishments are hard to come by at any basketball program, let alone a mid-major; however, with all the hard work head coach Karen Kemp, her staff and Lady Buccaneer players put in, these accolades have become a reality.
"We have really achieved a lot of great things over the past four years, but the players deserve all the credit," said Kemp, the Lady Bucs' all-time winningest coach. "This team has made coaching really fun and typically coaches get all the attention, but if it wasn't for the talent on the floor we wouldn't have seen this great run."
Kemp has changed the image of Lady Buccaneer as she has directed the Lady Bucs to all five of their postseason appearances, won three regular season crowns and three straight Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament tiles. Kemp, who has won Coach of the Year honors in both the SoCon and A-Sun, brings a high octane offense to the floor as her squads rank among the nation's best - including a top-10 showing in 2009-10 and top-15 in 2008-09.
Since 2007, the ETSU women's basketball team has held success both on the hardwood and in the classroom. Under Kemp's watch, the Lady Bucs have posted 84 wins in the last four years, while seeing 19 players receive all-academic honors - including the team posting a grade-point-average of 3.02 this past season.
"The image of Lady Buccaneer basketball has changed over the last couple of years, because of the work the players put in," commented Kemp. "Having players like Siarre (Evans) and TaRonda (Wiles) make coaching really easy and fun. Fans want to credit the coach when things go well, but the players deserve all the credit for our recent success."
While the talent makes things easier on the sidelines, going 76-18 (.809) since arriving to the A-Sun and posting a program-best five consecutive winning seasons is no cake-walk. In addition, the Lady Bucs have raised the bar at home as the Blue and Gold have gone 29-6 inside the Dome since 2007 - including a perfect 11-0 mark this past season.
Having two-time Atlantic Sun Player of the Year and four-time First Team All-Atlantic Sun selection Siarre Evans, along with two-time First Team All-Atlantic Sun performer and 1,000-point scorer TaRonda Wiles on the floor over the past four years was a recipe for championship success. However, getting the most out of her team and standout players takes a great deal of work and patience - something coach Kemp takes great pride in.
With three starters and 10 letterwinners returning, next season will be considered a reloading year rather than a rebuilding one.