Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, a three-time America East Coach of the Year, enters her fifth season at the helm of the Great Dane program after leading UAlbany to three-consecutive America East titles with a combined 74-18 overall tally and 45-3 conference record in those three years.
Under Coach Abe's tenure, UAlbany won 38-consecutive America East regular season contests from Feb. 1, 2012 through Feb. 26, 2014, setting a new league record and holding then then-longest conference winning streak in all of Division I. The new streak surpassed the old record of 37-straight set by Maine from 1995-97 under coach Joanne P. McCallie, the mentor of Coach Abe at Maine and Michigan State.
Since the start of the 2010-11 season, UAlbany has had two America East Players of the Year, three AE Defensive Players of the Year, an AE Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an AE Rookie of the Year, six All-America East First Team selections, 11 total All-America East players, nine AE All-Defensive Team players and four AE All-Academic Team players.
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. In her coaching career, she has helped four different teams reach the NCAA Tournament and six reach postseason play.
After losing its stellar four-person senior class the previous year, the 2013-14 Great Danes did not lose a beat, earning a three-peat as America East champion, going 28-5 with a 15-1 conference record. The team won its first eight games, including defeating local powerhouse Marist and crosstown-rival Siena to keep the Albany Cup for the third straight year. The team earned the 1-seed in the America East Tournament after winning its first 15 league games, defeating Binghamton, Hartford and Stony Brook in succession for the conference title. UAlbany got a 15-seed in the NCAAs and pushed 2-seed West Virginia to the brink before falling 76-61 in the NCAA First Round. America East Player of the Year and America East Tournament Most Outstanding Player Shereesha Richards smashed numerous UAlbany scoring records, averaging 20 points and 8.9 rebounds a game. Megan Craig joined Richards on the All-America East First Team while Tammy Phillip earned All-America East Third Team, with all three being placed on the AE All-Defensive Team. Sarah Royals set a new UAlbany single season assists record and earned AE All-Academic Team.
The Great Danes dominated all conference opposition in the 2012-13 season with a 27-4 overall record, winning all games against America East opponents including 16 regular season games and all league championship contests. UAlbany became the first team to go undefeated in the America East and win the conference since the 1995-96 season. Abrahamson-Henderson earned America East Coach of the Year honors for her efforts. Ebone Henry was named the America East Co-Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year with 13.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game, while Shereesha Richards was selected as the league's Co-Rookie of the Year with 10.2 points and 5.9 rebounds a game, shooting 61.1% off the bench. In addition, Julie Forster joined Henry on the All-Conference First Team, while Megan Craig and Lindsay Lowrie earned All-America East Third Team.
After posting a record turnaround in her first season with the Great Danes, Abrahamson-Henderson led UAlbany to its then-best record in Division I history in the 2011-12, going 23-10 overall. The Great Danes brought home their first-ever America East Conference title, and represented the league in the NCAA Tournament. UAlbany visited defending National Champions Texas A&M, and held with the Aggies for most of the game, showing how far the program has come in a short period of time.
Abrahamson-Henderson coached Ebone Henry to back-to-back America East Defensive Player of the Year honors. Henry was joined by Julie Forster on the All-Defensive Team, and both were All-Conference selections. Both Henry and Forster were named to the 2012-13 All-Conference Preseason Team, and the Great Danes were chosen to repeat as league champions, the first time UAlbany has been picked first in the preseason poll. Abrahamson-Henderson is also continuing a tradition of developing strong student-athletes, as Forster has earned a spot on two staright All-Academic Teams, and was named to the Capital One District I Academic All-America Team last season.
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.
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.
Previous to Missouri State, Abrahamson-Henderson served as associate head coach at Michigan State University from 2000-02. She worked for Joanne McCallie, the current head coach of Duke University, 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
Overall Record: 189-94 (nine years)
Husband: Michael A. Henderson
Children: Savannah, Brooklyn
University of Iowa, B.S. in physical education, sports administration, 1990
Duquesne University, M.S., education, 1992
2010-present, University at Albany, Head Coach (94-32)
2013-14 (28-5), America East champion, NCAA First Round, America East Coach of the Year
2012-13 (27-4), America East champion, NCAA First Round, America East Coach of the Year
2011-12 (23-10), America East champion, NCAA First Round, America East Coach of the Year
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