Former ETSU women’s basketball coach Karen Kemp dies

Johnson City Press • Updated Nov 1, 2018 at 4:09 PM

Karen Kemp, who coached the East Tennessee State women’s basketball team to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008, has died.

Kemp was 55.

Mike White, ETSU’s associate athletic director for communications, confirmed the news.

Kemp spent 19 seasons at ETSU and had a record of 272-277. Under Kemp’s watch, the Bucs made three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Her teams beat the likes of Kentucky, Mississippi State and Alabama. 

Her 1994-95 team tied a school record with 21 victories and won the Southern Conference regular-season title.

In 2009-10, Kemp’s team set a new school record with 23 wins in earning their third straight NCAA tournament and fourth straight postseason bid. That season, ETSU guards Siarre Evans and TaRonda Wiles shared Atlantic Sun Conference player of the year honors.

As a player, Kemp was a four-year starter and a two-time NAIA All-American at Berry College. She came to ETSU after serving as an assistant coach at Mississippi State and Chattanooga, helping guide the Lady Mocs to Southern Conference regular-season championships and two tournament championships.


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