CHARLOTTE, NC - Charlotte 49ers Director of Athletics Judy Rose has announced the hiring of Marquette assistant coach and former University of Iowa All-Big Ten standout Cara Consuegra (Con-SWAY-gruh) as the 49ers new head women's basketball coach. Consuegra will be the eighth head coach in the 36-year history of the 49ers women's basketball program.
"I am thrilled that Cara has accepted our offer to be the 49ers women's basketball coach," Rose said. "We had tremendous interest in this job from all over the country which speaks to the quality of the program and the respect that people have for our university. I am confident that Cara's knowledge and passion for the game will not only sustain the success that we have experienced but will take our program to new heights."
Consuegra has spent the past seven years as a member of the Marquette University coaching staff where she helped the Golden Eagles win 145 games and reach postseason play seven times.
"I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the Charlotte 49ers women's basketball program," Consuegra said. "I want to thank Chancellor Dubois, Judy Rose and the entire athletic administration for believing in me and giving me this tremendous opportunity. I am eager and excited to build on the great tradition the women's basketball program has at Charlotte. We have high expectations, but with the current and incoming talent, resources and the support of alumni and the Charlotte community, I believe we will continue to have great success."
This past season, Marquette won 24 games and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. During her time at Marquette, the Golden Eagles reached the NCAA Tournament twice and the WNIT five times including claiming the 2008 WNIT Championship and reaching the WNIT Championship game in 2006. Marquette posted four 20-wins seasons during her seven years at the school.
"Cara is passionate about winning and about the players," said Marquette head coach Terri Mitchell, who was 2007 Big East Coach of the Year. "She gives 100% effort all the time. She is a winner who cares a great deal about the well being of the players. Cara has a creative offensive mind and is a tireless worker. She is a woman of integrity and I could not be more proud and happy for her."
One of her main responsibilities at Marquette was overseeing the development of the Golden Eagles' guards. She worked closely with 2011 WNBA Draft Pick and first-team All-Big East selection Angel Robinson, 2011 second-team All-Big East selection Tatiyiana McMorris, 2009 All-American and two-time first-team All-Big East selection Krystal Ellis and Nancy Lieberman Award Finalist Carolyn Kieger. She also served as the Golden Eagles' recruiting coordinator, and she helped bring in consistently top tier recruiting classes including several nationally-ranked players.
Before joining the Marquette coaching staff, she spent three years as the Director of Basketball Operations (2001-04) at Penn State. During her time at Penn State, the Nittany Lions made two Sweet Sixteen appearances and a trip to the 2004 Elite Eight. She earned a Master's degree in Education from Penn State in 2004.
Before embarking on her coaching career, she enjoyed a stellar four-year playing career (1997-2001) at the University of Iowa. As a senior, she earned honorable-mention All-America honors as well being named first-team All-Big Ten. She was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2001 Big Ten Tournament after leading the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten Tournament title with a victory over top-seed Purdue in the Championship game. As a junior, she earned second-team All-Big Ten honors. During her career, Iowa made two NCAA Tournament appearances and they advanced to the second round in both appearances.
A native of Mount Airy, Maryland, Consuegra holds the Iowa single-season (191 in 2000-01) and career (576) assists records. She shares the school's single-game assists mark with 12 against Purdue on February 8, 2001. She finished her career with 1,147 points. When she graduated from Iowa she was one of only 13 players in Big Ten history to score 1,000 points and record 500 assists in their career.
Consuegra, who graduated in 2001 from Iowa with honors with a Bachelor's degree in Sports, Health and Leisure studies, not only excelled on the court but she excelled in the classroom as well. She was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection who earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors in 2001.
Following her standout career at Iowa, she played one season in the WNBA for the Utah Starzz in 2001.
She married JP Josetti in the summer of 2009.
Consuegra takes over a Charlotte 49ers women's basketball program that has made a school-record nine straight postseason tournament appearances. She takes over a program that returns three starters and 10 letterwinners off a team that won a school-record 27 games and reached the WNIT Final Four.
Consuegra replaces Karen Aston, who resigned earlier this month.