March 27, 2000
East Lansing, Mich. - Joanne P. McCallie, who spent the past eight years as the head coach at Maine, has been named the head coach of the women's basketball program at Michigan State, announced Athletics Director Clarence Underwood on Monday. McCallie, who was formally introduced during a teleconference call at the Breslin Center, replaces Karen Langeland who retired after 24 years as Spartan coach.
During her tenure with the Black Bears, McCallie, 34, guided Maine to a record of 167-73, six NCAA Tournament appearances, two North Atlantic Conference Championships, two America East Conference Championships and five regular-season conference titles.
"Our goal in searching for a new women's basketball coach was to find a person who had demonstrated a successful winning record and could build upon the solid program made by Karen Langeland," Underwood said. "We believe Joanne McCallie is that person. She has been extremely successful and has conducted a quality program at the University of Maine. We are very pleased that Joanne has joined our Spartan family."
"The people at Michigan State have been nothing short of tremendous in terms of their professionalism and the interest and concern they have shown for me and my family," McCallie said. "That is the number one thing that impressed me about the school.
"I feel very fortunate to follow someone like Karen Langeland, who has given the program complete stability and growth year-in and year-out. Obviously that was a huge plus in favor of Michigan State. From my standpoint, it's a matter of pursuing championships and continuing to do so at the highest possible level and building off the success that is already been here and set a new level of expectation for pursuing championships, whether it's Big Ten Championships or NCAA Championships.
A native of Brunswick, Maine, McCallie has guided the Black Bears to seven-straight 20-win campaigns, including a 20-11 overall record in 1999-00 and their sixth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. She has been named conference coach of the year three times, twice in the North Atlantic Conference and once in the America East in 1999.
Under McCallie's direction, attendance for Maine home games has reached an all-time high. In 1997-98, the Black Bears averaged a school and conference record 4,846 to rank among the national leaders. Last season, Maine averaged 3,310 fans per game.
"We are going to have to commit to doing a lot of work in that area," McCallie said of the fan base at Michigan State. "The game against Michigan drew over 7,000 fans, so the potential is very clear. But we want to do that on a game-by-game basis. At the same time, the coaches and players have to realize that you have to earn that by being a part of the community and reaching out to the community."
Prior to taking her first head coaching position, McCallie was an assistant coach at Auburn from 1988-92. As the team's primary recruiter, she helped sign the fourth-ranked class in the nation in 1990-91 and the 16th-ranked class in 1991-92. While at Auburn, McCallie and the Tigers appeared in two national championship games and made an appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight.
No stranger to the Big Ten, McCallie played her collegiate basketball at Northwestern from 1984-87. As a senior, she was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection and helped lead the Wildcats to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
McCallie graduated from Northwestern in 1987 with a degree in political science and earned a master's degree in business administration from Auburn in 1990.
Her husband, John McCallie, Ph.D., is an economics professor at Maine. They have a 5-year-old daughter, Madeline, and are expecting the birth of their second child within the next two weeks.
McCallie will inherit a Michigan State team that returns 11 players from the 1999-2000 squad that posted a 19-12 overall record and tied with Wisconsin for fifth place in the Big Ten at 8-8. The Spartans advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women's National Invitational Tournament for the second straight season.
Seniors Maxann Reese (16.0 ppg) and Kristen Rasmussen (14.8 ppg/9.8 rpg), who earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors in 1999-00, are the biggest losses for the Spartans. Junior Becky Cummings, the team's second-leading scorer (15.1 ppg) and rebounder (7.4 rpg), will be one of three starters returning for MSU next year.