Duke Blue has always been enticing to Kara Lawson. 

Lawson’s interest in Duke dates back to her high school recruitment days. Born in Alexandria, Virginia, her mother Kathleen wanted her daughter to commit to Duke, while her father William pushed for Stanford. 

Tennessee was also on the table. During a flight delay in Knoxville, she called legendary head coach Pat Summitt after her official visit. When the two hung up, it was easy for Lawson to only see Tennessee orange and she became one of the program’s notable guards from 1999 to 2003. Little did Lawson know the offer from Duke would come back around in her future. 

Kara Lawson’s head coaching dreams turn to reality

On July 11, 2020, Duke hired Lawson as its new women’s basketball head coach. A day 39-year-old Kara Lawson shared in her introductory press conference “is a dream come true for me” as she always had the desire to coach since she was a kid. The hire makes Lawson the fifth head women’s basketball coach at Duke University. Former head coach Joanie P. McCallie resigned after serving Duke’s program for 13 years.