• Women in Sports • Basketball • Success • Diversity
About Speaker Carolyn Peck
Now an analyst for ESPN, Carolyn Peck’s most recent head coach position was at the University of Florida at Gainesville. She was formerly the head coach and general manager of the Orlando Miracle, a franchise of the newly formed Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Peck was instrumental in the success of the Miracle's inaugural season as they finished tied for second place in the Eastern Conference. Peck is an on-air commentator for ESPN and recently served as an expert guest analyst for their coverage of the WNBA Playoffs.
Peck officially assumed the duties of General Manager/Head Coach on April 1, 1999 after leading Purdue to a 34-1 overall record during the 1998-99 season. The Boilermakers knocked off the Duke Blue Devils 62-45 to win the national championship on March 28 helping Peck become the first African-American female to coach a team to the women's NCAA title. Peck's Purdue squad commanded respect from the start after a season-opening upset of top-ranked and three-time defending NCAA Champion Tennessee, thus ending the Volunteers' 46-game winning streak.
Peck led the Boilermakers to a 23-10 record and an NCAA Tournament "Elite Eight" showing in 1997-98. Her squad came within eight points of advancing to the Final Four. Peck became only the second coach in the 23-year history of the Purdue program to record 20 wins in a season, while becoming only the third coach to reach the NCAA Tournament final eight in her first season.
Peck served as an assistant coach for the Boilermakers in 1996-97 under the guidance of Nell Fortner, who left Purdue to become the head coach of the USA National Team, which will compete in the 2000 Olympics.
In her first year at Purdue, Peck assisted on a team which finished 17-11, won a share of the Big Ten Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Overall in two years at Purdue, Peck was a key in leading the program to a 40-21 record for a .655 winning percentage.
In August of 1997, Peck served as the top assistant coach for the silver-medal winning USA Jones Cup team under the direction of Duke head coach, Gail Goestenkors.
Before Purdue, Peck spent one season as an assistant coach at Kentucky (1995-96) and two years at Tennessee under legendary head coach Pat Summitt. The Lady Vols posted a 65-5 record during Peck's tenure, won two Southeastern Conference championships (going undefeated in the regular season both years) and reached the 1995 National Championship Game.
Peck played at Vanderbilt from 1985-88. The 6-foot-4 center averaged 10.6 points and 5.8 rebounds with 180 blocked shots over the course of her career. She was the team captain in her junior and senior seasons at Vanderbilt. Peck played professional ball for the Nippondenso Corporation in Japan from 1991-1993. She ranked third in the league in rebounding in 1991 and 1992 and helped her team win the league championship in 1993.
Peck earned here B.A. degree in communications from Vanderbilt in 1988 and went to work for a Nashville, Tenn., television station as a marketing consultant. She then sold pharmaceuticals for a Fortune 500 company for two years.
A native of Jefferson City, Tenn., the 32-year-old Peck, the youngest coach in the Big Ten, was Tennessee's Miss Basketball and two-time prep All-American at Jefferson County High School.