|Consuegra inks three-year extension with 49ers|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte director of athletics Judy Rose has announced that 49ers' head women's basketball coach Cara Consuegra has agreed to a three-year extension to continue leading the program.
"We are extremely excited to announce the extension of Cara’s contract through March 31, 2019," Rose said. "Cara exhibits the type of character and leadership we value so strongly. Her passion for the game is contagious."
Consuegra, who has posted a 57-36 record in her three years with the Niners, has guided the program to three-straight postseason berths. The current run has extended Charlotte's postseason streak to 12 consecutive years, one of only a dozen programs nationally to accomplish the feat.
"I would like to thank Chancellor Phil Dubois and athletic director Judy Rose for their continued support and belief in me to lead this program," Consuegra said. "I am honored to be the head coach at Charlotte and I am looking forward to our bright future."
She has mentored a league player of the year (2013, Atlantic 10, Jennifer Hailey) and oversaw the development of the school's career assists leader, Ny Hammonds (496). Hammonds also became only the sixth player in NCAA history with back-to-back triple-doubles this past season, and with Consuegra adding one as a player at Iowa, the pair is the only coach-player combo to each register the rare feat.
Overall, seven players have collected all-conference honors, including Hammonds, while two others added all-freshman team plaudits, including Lefty Webster this past year, as Charlotte rejoined Conference USA.
Consuegra’s coaching tenure with the Niners began in 2011-12 after a seven-year stint as an assistant coach at Marquette. In her first season, she led Charlotte back to the WNIT and was named as one of three finalists for the WBCA’s Maggie Dixon Award, given year-end to the nation’s top rookie head coach.
The 49ers played in front of a school-record attendance for a stand-alone women’s contest that year, as 6,799 witnessed a 77-66 home triumph over La Salle as part of the annual Education Day. It helped the Niners average 1,637 fans during the course of the campaign, setting another program mark until this past season.
Consuegra then orchestrated a 26-6 ledger, the second best in the school’s history, during her second season in 2012-13, which featured a 13-1 mark in the program’s final year competing in the Atlantic 10. The second-place regular-season finish was highlighted by a school record 13-game win streak. ESPN.com’s Graham Hays took notice of the 49ers’ remarkable stretch, naming the squad his National Team of the Week in February. Charlotte also earned votes in the March 4, 2013, Associated Press national poll, the first mention in the weekly rankings since 2002-03.
After the campaign, Consuegra completed The Center for Coaching Excellence, a two-and-a-half day elite leadership program on the Columbia campus in New York. She was one of 35 head coaches to attend the program, which was by invitation only and sponsored by the WBCA.
Charlotte continued its upward climb in its first season back in Conference USA, in 2013-14. The 49ers knocked off UTEP, a longtime league power, on the road to give the Miners their first home loss of the year. The 49ers, behind only Hammonds as a senior, played another tough non-conference slate, including playing host to Top 10 and eventual SEC regular-season champion South Carolina, who went on to reach the NCAA Sweet 16.
The Niners have won at least 10 games inside Halton Arena during each of her three seasons, including a program-record 14 in 2012-13. The home crowds have enjoyed watching her teams play, as a school-record 1,699 turned out in 2013-14, placing fifth among the 16 Conference USA schools.
Her squads have also excelled in the classroom, as Charlotte posted a program-record team cumulative 3.31 semester GPA during the Spring 2014 term.
Consuegra played collegiately at Iowa, graduating in 2001, before embarking on a WNBA career with the Utah Starzz. She then started her coaching path at Penn State as the director of operations prior to moving on to Marquette.
INSIDE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL