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Kelly Cole Added to Women’s Basketball Staff

Jun 8, 2021

BERKELEY – California women's basketball head coach Charmin Smith has announced another addition to her staff, adding Kelly Cole as an assistant coach. Cole joins the Golden Bears with over 20 years of coaching experience including the last seven as head coach at Northeastern.
"I am extremely excited to have Kelly join our program," Smith said. "I know first-hand from my first year as an assistant with Kelly on Cathy Inglese's staff at Boston College, the type of impact she has on a program. Kelly loves studying the game and is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic teacher. She also brings an energy and infectious personality that allows her to connect well with student-athletes.  We are all looking forward to her arrival in Bear Territory."
During her time at Northeastern, Cole established a winning culture, collecting 87 wins which ranks third all-time amongst Husky head coaches. Furthermore, she successfully led the program to its first-ever WNIT appearance in 2019 and helped Northeastern reach the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament quarterfinals in six consecutive seasons. Cole saw 15 players receive all-conference awards during her tenure while the Huskies also finished in the top four of the CAA in two of her last four years.
Before arriving at Northeastern, Cole spent two years as an assistant coach at Harvard where she led the Crimson to a 43-17 record, including a 22-6 mark in Ivy League play, and two WNIT appearances (2013, 2014). During the 2013-14 season, Harvard registered the second-most wins in program history (22) and became the first Ivy League program to earn an at-large berth into a postseason tournament, advancing to the second round of the WNIT for the second-consecutive season.
Cole and Charmin Smith spent one year together on staff at Boston College when they led the Eagles to the school's first Big East Title in 2004. Cole spent nine years on Boston College's staff with her last two as associate head coach. During her tenure in Chestnut Hill, the Eagles compiled a 192-89 mark, including a 93-53 conference record, and made seven trips to the NCAA tournament, including three appearances in the regional semifinals (2003, 2004, 2006). Boston College won 20 or more games in six of her nine seasons.
Cole began her collegiate coaching career at her alma mater, Northwestern, where she helped the Wildcats advance to the 1996 NWIT championship game (today's WNIT) and to the 1997 NCAA tournament. Northwestern won 40 games during her two years as a member of the staff (40-22) and compiled 17 conference wins within the Big Ten.
Originally from Milwaukie, Oregon, Cole graduated from Northwestern in 1991 with a degree in secondary education and English. She played four seasons for the Wildcats, serving as team captain from 1989 to 1991, and finished her career with 1,206 career points.
At Cal, Cole will focus on the offensive side of the ball, coordinating the offense and working with the guards in both skill and player development.
"Having the opportunity to work with Charmin again is very exciting," Cole said. "Working within the Pac-12 has always been a dream of mine, and after more than 20 years on the East Coast, I can't wait to come to the West Coast to work with a high-level school like Cal."