Kelly Graves was named the seventh head coach in Oregon women's basketball history on April 7, 2014.
This is Graves' fourth head coaching position, previously leading the programs at Big Bend Community College (1989-92), Saint Mary's (1997-2000) and Gonzaga (2000-14).
Graves' coaching career started at Big Bend CC in Moses Lake, Wash., where he accepted an assistant coaching position on the men's team, but after the women's coach left the program, he moved over to lead the women's program. In three seasons (1989-90 through 1991-92) Gaves took a four win team his first season to a 23-10 record in his final year.
Graves left Big Bend CC to become an assistant coach under Jim Sollars at the University of Portland prior to the 1992-93 season.
“Oregon has gotten a real gem," Sollars said when Graves took the job at Oregon. "I might be biased because he’s a great friend of mine, but Kelly is a phenomenal coach and one of the best recruiters I have ever come across. His teams run well, score well and play excellent defense. He’s going to be very successful at Oregon.”
Following four years with the Pilots, Graves was named the head coach at Saint Mary's for the 1997-98 campaign.
Graves advanced to his first NCAA Tournament with the Gaels during the 1998-99 season, his second of three seasons at Saint Mary's, and went to seven more over 14 seasons at Gonzaga.
Gonzaga won the first of 10 straight WCC titles under Graves during the 2004-05 campaign when his squad went 28-4 overall and 14-0 in league play. Including that year, Graves and Gonzaga lost just 12 total conference games over his final 10 years leading the program.
Gonzaga's first NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2006-07, when the Bulldogs went 24-10 and 13-1 in WCC, and after a WNIT bid in 2007-08, Gonzaga advanced to six straight NCAA Tournaments.
Graves and the 'Zags advanced to the Sweet 16 for three straight years (2010, 2011, 2012) and went to the Elite 8 in 2011.
Overall, Graves brings eighth West Coast Conference Coach of the Year awards and a 382-162 (.696) Div. I head coaching record to Eugene, with a 427-202 record overall.
“Kelly Graves is a great guy and one of the best coaches in America," said UConn head coach Geno Auriemma. "Oregon is a place with tremendous women’s basketball potential and Kelly is the perfect person to lead the Ducks to the next level. I won’t be surprised when Oregon is competing for Pac-12 championships, and contending on a national level, in the near future.”
Graves is an active member of the WBCA (Women's Basketball Coaches Association) and currently sits on the Board of Directors.
Graves added USA Basketball to his resume in the summer of 2012, becoming an assistant coach with the U18 women's basketball squad and helping the team to a gold medal at the 2012 FIBA Americas.
He again coached for USA Basketball in the summer of 2013. As an assistant with Team USA, he helped the U19 squad with the FIBA World Championship for Women. Another coach on the U19 staff was current Miami head coach, Katie Meier.
“Kelly is a tremendous teacher of the game," Meier said. "His teams are always disciplined, smart, fun to watch and display the same enthusiasm and love for the game that he possesses. He builds winning cultures first, which leads to championship teams. Oregon has made a tremendous hire. Kelly is a talented coach full of integrity and a man who treats his players as family.”
Graves and his wife Mary have three sons - Maxwell Joseph (1995) Jackson Obde (1997) and William Kelly (2000).