Kara Kelly is entering her first year as an assistant coach with the Stonehill women's basketball program, bringing 13 years of coaching experience, including two as head coach at Rhode Island College in 2012-14.
Kelly (Williamson), who played collegiately at fellow NE10 member Assumption College, returns to the NE10 after four seasons as assistant coach under Jenerrie Harris at NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts Lowell. Kelly developed three America East All-Conference performers, an All-Rookie Team selection and All-Academic Team honoree in her time with the River Hawks. UML’s 14 wins in 2014-15 are the program’s highest total in its Division I era.
Kelly joined the coaching staff at UMass Lowell after two successful seasons as head coach at Rhode Island College. She led the Anchorwomen to a 36-20 (.643) record, including 20 wins during the 2013-14 season, earning the program’s fourth NCAA Tournament appearance. RIC also captured the Little East regular season championship for the second time in program history with an 11-3 league mark in 2013-14, earning Kelly Little East Coach of the Year and the Tom Carmody Rhode Island Media Coach of the Year awards, while also a WBCA East Region Coach of the Year finalist. She recruited and developed three LEC All-Conference performers and two LEC All-Rookie Team picks, including Vandell Andrade, only the second Little East student-athlete to earn LEC Player and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season.
"I have been impressed by Kara since she worked at our Stonehill Basketball Summer Camps, starting in her undergraduate days at Assumption," said Stonehill head coach Trisha Brown upon her hiring. "She is a high character individual who brings exceptional experience and passion to the Stonehill women’s basketball program. Kara is an outstanding coach, recruiter, educator, and mentor. She has been successful at all levels of college basketball and knows how to motivate and inspire student-athletes. As a former player and assistant coach in the NE10, Kara’s familiarity with our league will only enhance her tremendous talent as a recruiter. Our student-athletes will love playing for her and she will have an immediate impact on the success of our program."
Prior to her two years as head coach at RIC, Kelly served stints as assistant coach at Western New England University (2005-2007), as well as fellow NE10 members American International College (2007-09) and Southern New Hampshire University (2009-12). Over that span, she helped lead AIC to the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament and developed and recruited one honorable mention All-American and nine All-Conference performers.
Kelly is a 2005 graduate of Assumption, where she was a member of the Greyhounds women’s basketball team all four years, and earned her Master’s Degree from Springfield College in 2007. She currently resides in Braintree, Massachusetts, with her wife, Liz Kelly, a 2000 graduate of Stonehill and women's basketball alum, and their daughter, Kinsey.