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Former UC Capitals coach joins UC as Director of Sport

Amanda Jones

14 December 2017: Former Olympic and seven-time WNBL championship-winning coach and Basketball Australia Hall of Fame inductee Carrie Graf has been announced the University of Canberra’s inaugural Director of Sport.

The new role will see Ms Graf oversee the University’s sporting teams – the UC Capitals and women’s rugby sevens, manage the participation in Australian University Sport programs and University Games, and engage with both on and off campus sporting clubs.

Ms Graf spent nearly 15 seasons coaching the UC Capitals where she guided the club to six WNBL championships – making it Canberra’s most successful professional sporting team. She is a former Australian Opals coach, and in 2005, became the first female Australian head coach in the WNBA, after being appointed head coach of the Phoenix Mercury. She was also named WNBL Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2008.

She called time on her coaching career in 2015 to spend more time with her family.

Ms Graf, who is an Adjunct Professor in Sport and Exercise Science at the University, has spent the past year working for local consulting firm Yellow Edge as a senior facilitator and high-performance expert.

“It’s an exciting opportunity,” Ms Graf said ahead of her new role which she will begin on 22 January 2018. “There’s wonderful potential for sport to play an even bigger role in university life. My role is to help bring the University’s vision of becoming a leading sporting university to life.

“It’s a massive task and it will take time but I’m confident we can build something unique and special at the University of Canberra,” she said.

It’s been two years since Ms Graf left the WNBL and while she’s looking forward to reconnecting with her former team, she said she won’t be playing favourites.

“I’ll be looking at all areas of sport at UC – our professional teams, elite athletes program, local sporting clubs and our relationship with the Brumbies, who live on campus alongside the UC Capitals.”

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Deep Saini welcomed the appointment.

“Carrie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a player, Olympic and championship-winning coach and mentor,” Professor Saini said.

“She has a long association with the University having been appointed our first coach in residence in 2013, as an adjunct professor lecturing in our sports studies program, and as a former coach of the UC Capitals.

“Carrie knows what it takes to succeed at sport at the highest level and I look forward to working with her. I’m delighted that she will be bringing her expertise and passion for sport to the University of Canberra.”

Ms Graf’s contribution to female sport was recognised in 2015 when she was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day honours. She was also inducted into Basketball Australia’s Hall of Fame in October alongside former teammate and interim UC Capitals General Manager Lucille Bailie.