Cole joins the Harvard coaching staff after helping Boston College to three NCAA Sweet 16 appearances.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard women's basketball head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith has announced the hiring of Kelly Cole as the team's first assistant. Cole brings 21 years of coaching experience to Lavietes Pavilion, including three appearances in the Sweet 16 as a member of the Boston College staff.
"We are very excited to have someone with Kelly's knowledge and energy join our staff," stated Delaney-Smith. "I have always admired her at Boston College and felt she was one of the best out there. She brings a wealth of coaching and playing experience from Northwestern, a school not unlike Harvard, and has recruited and coached some of the best student-athletes from the Big East."
Cole has spent the past five seasons working as a head coach at the high school level, including most recently at Buckingham Browne & Nichols in Cambridge. She led BB&N to a 15-11 overall record and a 9-3 record in the Independent School League this past season, with the team's third-place finish in the ISL marking its best since 2005. Cole also served as the head coach at Bedford High School for the 2010-11 season and at the Gann Academy from 2007-10.
Cole worked a total of nine seasons at Boston College under head coach Cathy Inglese, spending seven of those seasons as an assistant coach before being promoted to associate head coach in May of 2004. While in Chestnut Hill, Cole helped the Eagles to a 192-89 overall record and seven NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the Sweet 16 in 2003, 2004 and 2006. Boston College won at least 20 games seven times during this stretch and in 2003-04 posted a 27-7 mark en route to the BIG EAST Championship. The Eagles were also a combined 95-51 in BIG EAST and ACC play.
"I am thrilled at the opportunity to work with Kathy and in a program with such a great tradition of excellence," Cole commented. "Harvard is an institution which personifies the essence of what it means to be a student-athlete and I could not be more excited to be a part of that."
Cole was responsible for bringing in six top-25 recruiting classes as BC's recruiting coordinator. As the primary guards coach she helped develop two all-region selections, four first team All-BIG EAST selections and three recipients of the BIG EAST's Most Improved Player award. Cole also coached eight 1,000 point scorers and three players who amassed over 400 career assists.
She began her collegiate coaching career at her alma mater, Northwestern, where she helped the Wildcats to the WNIT semifinals in 1996 and to the NCAA Tournament in 1997. Cole began her coaching career as the head girls basketball coach and head volleyball coach at Newberg High School from 1992-96.
Cole graduated from Northwestern University in 1991 with a degree in secondary education and English. She played four seasons for the Wildcats, serving as team captain from 1989-91, and finished her career having scored 1,206 career points. She currently ranks second in program history in career appearances (121), seventh in free-throw percentage (.803) and eighth in assists (376).
The Cole-led Wildcats earned three trips to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the second round in both her freshman and senior campaigns. In 1990, Northwestern captured the Big Ten title with a 27-6 overall record and a 15-3 mark in conference play. The Wildcats were 81-39 overall in Cole's four seasons while going 47-25 in the Big Ten. Cole was named All-Big Ten honorable mention in 1988 and 1990, and was an Academic All-Big Ten pick in 1990.