Kim Caldwell wins third career Furfari Award after lone season at Marshall

HUNTINGTON — The premier college coach in West Virginia leads a program at the University of Tennessee.

Kim Caldwell, hired Sunday as head women’s basketball coach of the Volunteers, led Marshall to a 26-7 record, the Sun Belt Conference championship and its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1997 this season in her lone season with the Thundering Herd. The victory total was the most in program history.

For her effort, Caldwell was voted winner of the Furfari Award, named for longtime sports writer Mickey Furfari and presented by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.

Caldwell won the award twice before, in 2019 and 2022, while coaching at Glenville State, where she won an NCAA Division II national title two seasons ago.

“It’s an honor,” Caldwell said. “Anytime you’re considered one of the top coaches in West Virginia, a state full of great coaches, it’s amazing.”

Caldwell credited her players, assistant coaches and Marshall’s fans for Marshall’s success this season. The Herd averaged 2,066 fans per game during Sun Belt play and four times topped the 2,500 mark.

“All of Herd Nation extends our heartfelt appreciation to Coach Caldwell for the exciting season of basketball we just experienced as she led our phenomenal women’s team to new heights,” Marshall President Brad D. Smith said. “Kim reminded us of what is possible — building upon last year’s strengths and laying a foundation for success. Tennessee has wisely chosen an outstanding coach and a world-class person. We wish Kim much continued success. She will always have a fan base in Huntington.”

Caldwell also was named Sun Belt coach of the year and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association NCAA Division I rookie coach of the year. She is 217-31 in her career. 

She will be honored at the 77th annual Victory Awards Dinner at 4 p.m. May 5 at River City restaurant, 1400 Main Street, Wheeling. 

TIM STEPHENS/The Herald-Dispatch

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