What’s the opposite of a Friday news dump? A press release put out on a Friday morning that’s clearly good news?
Anyway, the point of the story is that Marquette has announced that athletic director Bill Scholl has agreed to terms with Megan Duffy on a contract extension for MU’s head women’s basketball coach. Financial stipulations of the contract were not announced by Marquette, as the university is a private school and is not required to do so, but the new deal will run through the completion of the 2026-27 season. Duffy’s original deal at Marquette was a six year contract, which makes this a two year extension on that deal.
SIGNED!! @CoachMeganDuffy signs extension with @MarquetteU through 2026-27 season. @BillScholl and @PresLovell made it official this week. Congrats! #muwbb— Marquette WBB (@MarquetteWBB) July 2, 2021
RELEASE: ⬇️https://t.co/kI0kbVsXZt pic.twitter.com/q5KCCJos5H
Megan Duffy stepped into an unsure situation when she was hired to replace Carolyn Kieger. She took over a roster that was losing five senior starters and very little in on-court continuity as well as a program that had reached three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. MU was picked to finish ninth in the Big East, but Duffy promptly guided that team to a 24-8 record overall, a 13-5 mark in Big East play which was good enough for second place, and the program’s fourth straight conference tournament title game. The Golden Eagles clearly would have been in the NCAA tournament had it not been cancelled due to COVID-19 as well.
For Year Two, it was more of the same as MU went 19-7 overall and 14-4 in the Big East, finishing second only to national power UConn. Duffy coached the team to their fifth straight conference tournament title game and the fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance, which doubled as her first national championship bid as a head coach.
Two years, 43-15 overall. It’s the best first two seasons in Marquette women’s hoops history, made even slightly more impressive by the fact that her first year results were actually not expected to be as good as they were. I’d like to say that this extension is long past due, but it has only felt like longer than two years thanks to the pandemic. This is exactly perfectly timed for when you should be extending your young rising star head coach. Two outstanding seasons? Let’s add those two years onto the back end of your contract pronto.
Duffy’s 2021-22 team returns three starters from the previous season. Selena Lott opted for a shot at the WNBA Draft while Lauren Van Kleunen decided to return to MU for her COVID-bonus season of eligibility. Jordan King and Chloe Marotta join LVK as returners, as Camryn Taylor transferred to Virginia. Duffy bolstered her roster with two transfers of her own in Karissa McLaughlin and Kennedi Myles. McLaughlin is a Purdue grad using her COVID-bonus season while Myles will have two years of traditional eligibility remaining after spending her first two years of college at Illinois. MU also has two incoming freshmen in Makiyah Williams and ESPN Top 60 prospect Kendra Gillispie.