Basketball

Katie Pate new Marshall Associate Head Coach for Basketball

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HUNTINGTON – Katie Pate has been named Associate Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Thundering Herd head coach Tony Kemper announced Friday. She will officially begin her duties with the program in July. Pate comes to Huntington from Lenoir-Rhyne University, where she served as head coach of the Bears for the past three seasons.

“We are very fortunate to have a coach of Katie’s caliber,” said Kemper. “She will bring a wealth of experience, including several as a head coach. I know that she is eager to get started and her energy will only make our program stronger.”

Prior to that, she was also the program’s associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for four seasons. L-R was also the nation’s ninth-best defensive team in 2016-17 with a record of 17-12 overall – a winning season after going 12-16 in her first season and 12-15 in second two. Her overall record was 41-43 at Lenior-Rhyne.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be part of Tony Kemper’s organization and a member of the Marshall University and Conference USA family,” Pate said. “I cannot thank Coach Kemper, his staff, and Senior Woman Administrator Beatrice Crane Banford enough for their hospitality and insight while exploring my next professional journey. The opportunity to work with the exceptional young women of the Thundering Herd in a passionate, sports-minded community while embracing a world-class faculty, has me eager to roll-up my sleeves and assist in further developing the standards of excellence for the women’s basketball program.”

MUWBSKB 2017-18 Katie Pate at L-R camps from twitter

Katie Pate poses with campers at Lenoir-Rhyne. Pate is the new Marshall Associate Head Coach to Marshall’s first-year Head Coach Tony Kemper. (courtesy of L-R twitter)

Pate was the associate head coach to former head coach Todd Starkey (now the head coach at Kent State in the MAC) and that staff led the Bears to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and top 25 national rankings in 2012-13 and 2013-14. The latter season saw the team also capture the South Atlantic Conference’s regular season crown and the number one seed in the Southeast regional. During her stint in Hickory, N.C., the Bears captured numerous All-American, all-region and all-conference honors.

“Coach Pate is a true professional and understands what it takes to develop a championship program,” Starkey said. “Her vast experience throughout various levels of women’s basketball helps her bring a unique and valuable perspective to Coach Kemper’s staff. Marshall University is gaining a talented coach but an even better person.”

Pate coordinated all academic programming for L-R, which led to the Bears achieving a national top 20 GPA of 3.42. Pate also developed a sports nutrition program to improve health and fitness of the team and was chair of the SAC for all member school Student-Athlete Advisory committees. As head coach, Pate also spearheaded L-R’s fundraising for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, raising nearly $10,000 for research, more money than any other NCAA Division II institution on the national level (300 programs).

Sandwiched between her stints at L-R, was a stop at Georgia State in 2014. There, she managed the business operations, summer camps and academic success, which led to a team-high 3.21 GPA during the summer session. In addition to Georgia State and Lenoir-Rhyne, she has also been an assistant coach at Wingate (2009-10), USC Upstate (1999-2001) and Coker (1998-99).

Pate has been an educator and researcher during her career, teaming with national basketball analyst Debbie Antonelli on the pair’s “Sweet 16 to Vegas” feasibility study. The project is designed to explore new and groundbreaking ways to re-brand the sport of college women’s basketball while creating a distinct and unique vision for the sport.

 “Coach Pate is a ‘great-get’ for Marshall Women’s Basketball. She works, probes and studies her craft and the people in the game to give her student-athletes the best opportunity to find success,” said Antonelli. “As a former head coach, she understands the importance of building relationships, managing team dynamics and prioritizing communication and vision to benefit the team. I look forward to following her success on the Marshall staff.”

Pate served as USC Upstate’s Director of Athletics Marketing and Promotions from 2007 to 2009. She oversaw advertising, branding, creative services, promotions and grassroots marketing and helped set single-game attendance marks, increased season attendance and grew the Spartan Army booster club. She twice presented for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) at the NIKE Assistant Coaches Roundtables and has guest lectured on several topics ranging from player and program development to entrepreneurship.

With over 100 wins as a head coach and nearly 20 years in the collegiate game overall, Pate served as head coach for Belmont-Abbey College (2005-07) and Coker College (2001-05). At Belmont-Abbey, Pate expanded the recruiting base and secured Division I transfers that resulted in all-conference honors. Pate was also the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference liaison on several national basketball committees.

She guided Coker to the most wins in school history in a season (19) and advanced to the CVAC tournament championship. The program was the seventh-most improved team in the nation, going from 11-16 to 19-11. The team improved its GPA to 3.44 and Pate recruited and coached the program’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, securing postgraduate scholarships for two student-athletes worth more than $50,000.

 Pate graduated from Coker and the Universidad de Complutense de Madrid in 1997 with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and Exercise Science (Coker). In 2004, she received a master’s degree in business administration from Webster University. As a student-athlete, Pate was a first-team All-Carolinas-Virginia Conference pick and a three-year team captain at Coker.

Pate was born in Grinnell, Iowa and moved to Minneapolis, Minn. Her father, Scott, remarried in Minnesota and that influenced Katie’s future. Her stepmother, Ellen Mosher-Hanson, was a head coach at UCLA (20-3 and 19-4 in 1975-77, coaching future Hall of Fame members Ann Meyers and Denise Curry) and the University of Minnesota, where Mosher-Hanson is a member of the Gopher Hall of Fame (172 wins from 1977-87).

The family moved to Hayward, Wisconsin where Pate played for Hayward High School and still holds that school’s all-time scoring record. Her’s birth mother is Betty Coker and Pate has a younger sister, Kristi Brannon.

(Marshall Athletic Release, edited for Herd Insider by Woody Woodrum, HI Sr. Editor)

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