Lenoir-Rhyne University has announced the hiring of Katie Pate as Head Women's Basketball Coach. Pate becomes the 11th head coach in program history. Pate replaces Todd Starkey, who stepped down last week to become an Assistant Women's Basketball Coach at Indiana University. Pate returns to Lenoir-Rhyne after
leaving in late spring for an Assistant Women's Basketball Coaching position at Georgia State in Atlanta, Ga.
"Returning to Lenoir-Rhyne University as its Head Women's Basketball Coach is something truly extraordinary," said Pate. "I'm very grateful for the opportunity both (Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics) Neill McGeachy and (University President) Dr. Wayne Powell have afforded me."
"Having been a part of the program for the last four years, I'm thrilled at the prospect of continuing the rich tradition that the coaches before me helped pave. The move felt like a natural fit on a multitude of levels and essentially feels like the ideal Homecoming."
Pate has been with the program since the start of the 2010-11 season, serving as an assistant coach before being elevated to associate head coach. Pate helped guide the Bears to four consecutive winning seasons including back-to-back NCAA Division II National Tournament berths in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
Last year, Lenoir-Rhyne finished with a 24-7 record and clinched a share of the South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championship. The Bears also hosted the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament.
In addition, Pate coached Jazmine Charles to SAC and Southeast Region Player-Of-The-Year honors last year. Charles was also named a Third-Team All-American in 2013-14.
Pate also served as an Assistant Professor in Lenoir-Rhyne's Charles M. Snipes School of Business and taught classes in sports marketing, business marketing and marketing research.
Prior to Lenoir-Rhyne, Pate served one year as Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Wingate (2009-10) and was Director of Marketing and Promotions at USC Upstate (2007-09).
Pate's Head Women's Basketball Coaching stints took place at Belmont Abbey (2005-07) and Coker (2001-05), six years total. While with the Cobras, Pate led the squad to its most wins in school single-season history (19) and the CVAC Tournament Championship in 2003-04.
Pate began her coaching career as an assistant at Coker (1998-99) before two seasons at USC Upstate (1999-01). Pate, a 1997 graduate of Coker with degrees in Spanish and exercise science, was a three-year captain and a First-Team All-CVAC honoree for the Cobras.
Pate, a native of Grinnell, Iowa, starred at Hayward (Wisconsin) High School where she remains the school's all-time leading scorer. Pate's stepmother is Ellen Mosher-Hanson, former Head Women's Basketball Coach at UCLA (1975-77) and Minnesota (1977-87) and a member of the Golden Gophers Sports Hall Of Fame.
Photo Courtesy: Katie Pate, L-R Athletics