Thursday, October 16, 2008D.P. Culp University Center, East Tennessee RoomFunded through the generosity of ETSU alumna Barbara Murphy Brooks, the guest speaker for the 2008 Women Making History Lecture is Coach Karen Kemp, head women’s basketball coach for East Tennessee State University. Entitled “Dare to Dream: My Journey in Women’s Athletics,” the Kemp lecture is scheduled for Thursday, October 16, 2008, at 5:00 p.m. Location is the East Tennessee Room, D.P. Culp University Center. A reception will follow Kemp’s lecture.
As head women’s basketball coach, Kemp is the only coach to lead the ETSU Women’s Basketball Team to its first-ever appearance in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. Kemp, named head coach on August 8, 1994, came to ETSU after successful stints as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Mississippi State University and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. A native of Chatsworth, Ga., Kemp spent seven seasons at Chattanooga where she helped guide the Lady Mocs to Southern Conference regular season titles in 1991 and 1992 and the Southern Conference Tournament Championship in 1989 and 1992. In 1988, Kemp took on the added duties of Senior Women’s Administrator at UTC and was responsible for the administration of six intercollegiate sports. Prior to joining the UTC staff, Kemp served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Mississippi State.
Kemp played on the collegiate level at Berry College in Mount Berry, Ga., where she was a two-time All-America selection while helping lead the school to a four-year record of 120-19. A four-year starter, she averaged over 12 points and nine rebounds during her career and was a four-time NAIA All-District pick. She was also named to the NAIA National All-Tournament team as a freshman and junior.
Kemp earned a B.S. degree in interdisciplinary studies from Berry College in 1985. She is married to Eddie Gregory and is the mother of two children: Marcus (15) and LaKeisha (10).
Entering into her 15th season at the helm for the Lady Bucs, Kemp has posted 173 career wins, giving her the most wins in school history, since taking over the program in 1994. Kemp is just the second ETSU head coach to reach the 100-win milestone, doing so when her team defeated Western Carolina at Memorial Center on February 11, 2002. Two years later Kemp became the all-time wins leader when her Lady Bucs defeated Davidson on February 7, 2004, capturing her 119th career victory.
During Kemp’s tenure at ETSU, the Lady Bucs have reached peaks never before achieved in the program’s history. Kemp’s 1994-95 squad tied a school record with 21 victories and won the only Southern Conference regular season title in school history. That team went on to participate in the National Women’s Invitational Tournament, also a first for a Lady Buc squad.