WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) – Purdue women’s basketball head coach Sharon Versyp announced the hiring of new assistant coach Kelly Komara on Monday, welcoming the 2002 Boilermaker alumnus back to her alma mater.
Komara played on a pair of Final Four team for the Boilermakers, winning the national championship in 1999 and finishing as the NCAA Runners Up in 2001, and most recently served as an assistant coach at the University of Albany.
“We’re excited to welcome home an individual who bleeds Old gold and Black and couldn’t have a greater love for Purdue,” said Versyp. “She’s one of the greatest point guards in school history and she coaches with the same tenacity that she played with. Kelly is an excellent addition to our staff and to the Purdue family.”
“It’s a dream come true for me to return to Purdue as a part of the staff and it’s something I’ve wanted since I set foot on campus as a freshman,” said Komara. “Purdue is a place that is, and always has been, about family, and I’m excited to be part of a national powerhouse that happens to be my family and my home as well.”
In two seasons at Albany, Komara helped the Great Danes to a combined 55-9 record, a pair of America East Conference titles and two trips to the NCAA Tournament. Working with the Albany post players, she was instrumental in the development of 2014 America East Conference Player of the Year Shereesha Richards and First Team All-America East center Megan Craig.
She also oversaw scheduling for the Great Danes, served as the team’s strength, conditioning and nutrition liaison, worked on scouting reports and game preparation and assisted with recruiting. Before Albany, Komara worked at Valparaiso, Auburn and Northwestern in a variety of roles. In 2001, she was drafted in the third round by the Indiana Fever and played professionally for the Grand Rapids Blizzards in the National Women’s Basketball League.
“Kelly’s experience coaching all over the country and her recruiting ties, nationally, are huge for our program,” continued Versyp. “Her involvement in different conferences and styles of play give her outstanding insight into the game and that will be keys for our athletes.”
An outstanding player for the Boilermakers, Komara still holds marks on several Purdue record lists and is one of seven players in school history to have at least 1,000 points, 400 assists and 200 steals in their career. She was the most outstanding player for the 2001 NCAA Mideast Regional and earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2002.
A three-time All-Big Ten honoree, Komara was a first-team selection in 2002 and earned honorable mention recognition as a sophomore and junior. She was also granted the prestigious Mackey Award and Varsity Walk Award as a senior by the Purdue administration.
Komara’s 120 steals in 2002 (4.0 per game) still sit at the top of Purdue’s single-season record list, and are the third-most in a season in Big Ten Conference history. Her 1,266 career points are 18th in school history, while her 402 career assists rank 11th and her 297 career steals are fifth.
Komara earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Purdue University in 2002. She went on to receive her master’s degree in higher education and sports management from Auburn University in 2006.