Katie Abrahamson-Henderson Named University at Albany's Head Women's Basketball Coach
Albany, N.Y. - University at Albany Vice President and Director of Athletics Lee McElroy announced on Monday, April 19 the hiring of Katie Abrahamson-Henderson as head women's basketball coach. Abrahamson-Henderson, the 10th head coach in the UAlbany program's history, was previously the associate head coach at Indiana University. She also served as Missouri State University's head coach from 2002-07, leading that program to three NCAA Tournament appearances.
"We are extremely pleased to have found a coach who has a proven record of success on the court and in the classroom," McElroy said. "Katie has been a winner on all levels as a head coach, assistant coach and student-athlete. She is respected by her peers, has strong relationships and will be active in the community. The America East Conference and its women's basketball programs are on the rise and she has the ability to meet that challenge."
Abrahamson-Henderson has two decades of experience on the Division I level. At Missouri State, she guided that program to three Missouri Valley Conference tournament championships, two MVC regular-season titles and three NCAA berths. The Bears, who also won the 2005 WNIT championship, posted a 95-61 record during her five seasons. In addition, she coached a pair of MVC players of the year, 11 all-conference honorees, two of the program's all-time leading scorers, three players who went on to professional careers, and 13 MVC scholar-athletes.
"I am extremely honored and humbled to have this opportunity and to be a part of the UAlbany family," said Abrahamson-Henderson, who is third among Missouri State women's basketball coaches in career victories. "I am excited to begin this wonderful journey of coaching the women's basketball team and at the same time both teach and develop these amazing young women. Dr. McElroy has shown me so much character, honesty, and excitement for his athletic department that I am so excited to be a part of his team. Everyone involved with this search has been impressive, so open and honest that becoming a Great Dane was an easy choice."
Missouri State recorded back-to-back 25-plus win campaigns in 2003-04 and 2004-05. The Bears went 28-4 in her second season at the helm when they won both the MVC regular-season and tournament crowns. They followed that performance with another regular-season title, a 25-8 record, and a victory over West Virginia in the WNIT championship game. The program was also recognized by the WBCA for its academic performance.
Following her stay at Missouri State, Abrahamson-Henderson worked at Washington in the Pacific-10 Conference as assistant coach and co-recruiting coordinator in 2007-08. She spent the last two seasons in the Big Ten Conference at Indiana as associate head coach on Felisha Legette-Jack's staff. The Hoosiers advanced to the 2009 WNIT quarterfinals and finished with a 21-11 record.
"We are excited for Katie and her family for reaching a goal that she set a few years ago in helping our Indiana women's basketball program continue to grow to another level and then attain a head coaching position again," Legette-Jack said. "Albany has gotten a great coach; a coach that knows how to win and knows discipline. We're sad to see Katie leave, but we understand her goal and we are very proud and excited about this opportunity for her."
Previous to Missouri State, Abrahamson-Henderson served as associate head coach at Michigan State University from 2000-02. She worked for (now Duke University head coach) Joanne McCallie and helped lead a resurgence of the program as the team went from a .500 season the first year to 19-13 and the WNIT semifinals the following season.
From 1994-2000, Abrahamson-Henderson was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator on Bill Fennelly's Iowa State University staff. The Cyclones made four consecutive NCAA appearances, reaching the Elite Eight in 1999 and Sweet Sixteen in 2000. Iowa State went a combined 94-34 during that four-year period and ended that run with a Big 12 Conference championship.
A 1990 graduate of the University of Iowa, Abrahamson-Henderson began her coaching career at Duquesne University for two seasons before moving to the University of Maine as McCallie's assistant from 1992-94. The Black Bears won the North Atlantic Conference (now America East Conference) championship and reached the NCAA Tournament.
An accomplished student-athlete and a Parade Magazine and USA Today High School All-American, Abrahamson-Henderson played two seasons at the University of Georgia for Andy Landers before transferring to Iowa to compete for Basketball Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer. At Iowa, she was a member of two Big Ten Conference championship teams and played in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. As a freshman at Georgia, she helped the Bulldogs capture the 1986 Southeastern Conference title. Following her college career, Abrahamson-Henderson played one season professionally in New Zealand.
A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Abrahamson-Henderson earned a B.S. in physical education with an emphasis in sports administration from the University of Iowa. She received her master's in education from Duquesne University in 1992.
Abrahamson-Henderson and her husband, Michael, have two daughters, Savannah and Brooklyn. Michael also had a celebrated college basketball career and eventually played for the Harlem Globetrotters. He led Long Island-C.W. Post to a pair of NCAA Tournaments and scored 1,173 career points from 1981-84.
Katie Abrahamson-Henderson Biography
Name: Kay N. Abrahamson-Henderson
Birthdate: December 23, 1966
Overall Record: 95-61 (5 years)
Husband: Michael A. Henderson
Children: Savannah (born July 12, 2003), Brooklyn (born April 20, 2005)
University of Iowa, B.S. in physical education, sports administration, 1990
Duquesne University, M.S., education, 1992
2008-10, Indiana University, Associate Head Coach
2007-08, University of Washington, Assistant Coach
Missouri State University, Head Coach (95-61)
2002-03 (18-13), MVC Champion, NCAA First Round
2003-04 (28-4), MVC Champion, NCAA First Round
2004-05 (25-8), WNIT Champion
2005-06 (17-15), MVC Champion, NCAA First Round
2000-02, Michigan State University, Associate Head Coach
1994-00, Iowa State University, Assistant Coach
1992-94, University of Maine, Assistant Coach
1990-92, Duquesne University, Assistant Coach