Athletics & Recreation / News

DU names Kerry Cremeans new women’s basketball head coach

Kerry Cremeans, shown here at Wednesday's press conference, is the new head coach for DU's women's basketball team. Photo: Tory Rust

It’s finally safe for Kerry Cremeans to wear crimson.

Cremeans, the new head coach of the University of Denver women’s basketball team, told reporters at a press conference Wednesday that at her previous job — associate head coach at Auburn University in Alabama — the shade was forbidden due to Auburn’s longtime rivalry with the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide.

“I look forward to filling my closet with crimson. I have no crimson at this moment,” Cremeans said.

At the press conference, which was held to introduce Cremeans to Denver and the DU community, the new coach praised former head coach Erik Johnson, who took a head-coaching job at Boston College earlier this month.

“The foundation that he laid here at Denver is ready to take off,” she said. “He and his staff did a phenomenal job recruiting, a phenomenal job coaching these kids and building a successful program.”

Cremeans, who will oversee the women’s squad as it joins other DU teams in entering the Western Athletic Conference this fall, already has met with her team and said she was excited about its potential.

“We sat in the locker room, shared stories, talked about family and all that we wanted to do together, and it was just unbelievable,” she said. “The magic that we had in that room, the energy we had in the room the love we had in the room — it was really special.”

Cremeans also mentioned her newly hired staff, which includes Ashley Langford, a former graduate assistant at Auburn and former assistant coach at Bucknell University, and Abby Waner, an ESPN analyst and former Colorado high school basketball star who will have her first coaching job under Cremeans. Waner, she said, is “an amazing individual, one who’s going to be an amazing leader to this team.”

Peg Bradley-Doppes, vice chancellor of athletics and recreation, said in her introductory remarks that Cremeans, who played at the University of Florida, “understands what it is to be a student-athlete at a great academic institution like the University of Denver.”

“I feel like she’s been one of us her whole life; she just didn’t know about us,” Bradley-Doppes said.

Cremeans becomes the ninth head coach in DU women’s basketball history since the program’s inception in 1974. Prior to her eight years at Auburn, Cremeans was the top recruiter at Purdue University for seven years. She also coached at the University of Kentucky and at the University of Florida.

During her time at Purdue, Cremeans helped the Boilermakers to a 181–49 record and seven consecutive NCAA Tournament berths. During the 1999 season, Cremeans played an instrumental role in leading Purdue to an unprecedented 34–1 record and an NCAA title. In seven seasons at Purdue, Cremeans helped lead the Boilermakers to four Big Ten Tournament titles (1998, 1999, 2000 and 2003) and three regular season conference titles (1999, 2001 and 2002).

Pat Rooney contributed to this story



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