Katie O'Connor - Women's Basketball - Kansas Jayhawks

Katie O'Connor

TITLE Assistant Coach
PHONE 864-7159


Katie O’Connor returned to Lawrence on the sidelines of the Kansas women’s basketball team in May 2012 after spending the 2011-12 season as an assistant at Virginia. O’Connor has spent 11 seasons as an assistant at KU and enters her 12th season in Allen Fieldhouse.

During her first season back with the Jayhawks, O’Connor aided in KU returning to the NCAA Sweet 16. Kansas concluded the 2012-13 campaign with a 20-14 finish and in the top-25 of the USA Today Coaches Poll. O’Connor worked with senior center/forward Carolyn Davis, who earned Second Team All-Big 12 honors in 2013 and became the seventh player in Kansas history to score 1,700 points and grab 700 rebounds in a career.

In 2013-14, O’Connor guided Chelsea Gardner to Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Region and All-Big 12 First Team accolades, the first of her career. Under O’Connor’s guidance, Gardner posted 13 double-doubles during her junior campaign, the most by a Jayhawk since 1978-79. Gardner became the sixth Jayhawk forward under O’Connor to reach the 1,000-point milestone after surpassing 1,000-point mark during the first game of the 2014-15 season. During the 2013-14 season, KU also snapped Big 12 foe Baylor’s 53-game conference winning streak after defeating the Lady Bears, 76-60, at Allen Fieldhouse.

While at Virginia, the Cavaliers went 25-11 in 2011-12, their most wins since the 1999-2000 season, and advanced to the WNIT quarterfinals for the second-straight season. O’Connor worked with the team’s post players, a role she previously held at Kansas and took over once again when she returned to coach the Jayhawks.

While guiding the KU frontcourt in her earlier time in Lawrence, O’Connor developed Crystal Kemp into an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection in her first season on the Kansas sidelines. Kemp became the first Jayhawk post player to earn such an award since 2000-01 and went on to earn first team accolades for the 2005-06 season. Kemp eventually became just the sixth Jayhawk to accumulate over 1,600 career points and 800 career rebounds and was the first KU player to be named the Big 12 Player of the Week twice in a single season.

In her previous stint at Kansas, O’Connor also spent time working with the Jayhawk wing players where she made her presence felt. Danielle McCray went from Honorable Mention All-Big 12 to one of five players on the first team after O’Connor took over backcourt duties. McCray averaged 21.6 points per game off of improved shooting and also led KU in rebounding, steals and blocks. McCray collected Honorable Mention All-America honors and also earned a spot on the 2009 World University Games Team.

O’Connor spent three seasons as a full-time assistant coach at Virginia Tech. She had on-court coaching responsibilities working with the perimeter players and also assisted in areas such as planning team travel and film coordination. She also served as the director of the women’s basketball summer camps.

Before becoming a full-time assistant coach, O’Connor spent two years as an administrative assistant at Virginia Tech. In that role, she helped coordinate daily operations of the basketball office and oversaw Tech’s booster club, the Hokie Hardwood Club.

O’Connor, a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was a four-year starter for the Hokies from 1995-99. She helped lead Tech to an Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament title in 1998, an A-10 regular-season title in 1999 and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

In her senior season, the program enjoyed its most successful year, posting a 28-3 record, made a Sweet 16 appearance and achieved the program’s highest ranking of No. 9. As a senior, O’Connor was named the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Most Improved Player.

O’Connor graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.