Stephanie White was named the head coach for Vanderbilt women’s basketball program on May 25, becoming just the fifth all-time head coach in the history of the Vanderbilt program.
Having enjoyed success at virtually level of basketball as a player and coach, White arrived at Vanderbilt after spending two seasons as the head coach of WNBA’s Indiana Fever. White took the Fever to the playoffs in each of her two seasons, including a trip to the WNBA finals in 2015.
“The opportunity to lead Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball program is an opportunity that I simply could not pass up,” White said.” The combination of Vanderbilt’s culture, where achievement -- both on and off the court - is so highly valued, together with the institution’s fan support, and a legacy of winning basketball to build upon, is incredibly exciting to me. I appreciate the support and understanding that I have received from the Indiana Fever, from management to the players, regarding my passion to coach college basketball at an elite institution.”
White -- who played five seasons in the WNBA after a decorated playing career at Purdue -- was named head coach for the Fever in September 2014. In 2015, she guided the Fever to the WNBA finals, becoming the first rookie coach in league history to lead a team to the finals.
“Above all else, academics, research, scholarship, and service define the Vanderbilt experience, yet we also compete at the highest levels in athletics,” Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said in announcing White. “Coach White’s values align perfectly with those in our university community. I welcome Stephanie to Vanderbilt and look forward to working with her as she leads our women’s basketball program to fulfill our goals and highest potential.”
As a collegiate player, White enjoyed a highly successful career at Purdue, where she earned national Player of the Year honors after helping lead the Boilermakers to the 1999 NCAA championship as a senior. That season, she also received the Wade Trophy (given to the nation’s top female player) and was named Big Ten Conference Player of the Year.
Carolyn Peck, a member of the Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame, was named Associate Coach of the women's basketball team on May 24 and will serve on head coach Stephanie White's staff this season in White's inaugural campaign with the team.
Peck, an ESPN analyst for the past nine years, was the head coach at Purdue during White's junior and senior seasons -- and together, they led the Boilermakers to the 1999 NCAA National Championship. Peck won multiple national coach of the year awards that season, including the Naismith National Coach of the Year, USBWA Coach of the Year, WBCA Coach of the Year and AP College Basketball Coach of the Year.
"I'm so excited to return to Vanderbilt with Stephanie White," said Peck. "Nobody knows what a winner she is more than me. We won with her as a player and I have covered her coaching career especially in the WNBA. I couldn't be prouder of what Stephanie has done and is going to do at Vanderbilt.
"Vanderbilt is a great school where a student-athlete can have the best of both worlds, academically and athletically. I'm proof of that," Peck added. "I can't wait to get started."
Peck will play an integral role for the Commodores in the next few months. While White completes the season with WNBA's Indiana Fever, Peck will helped lead the women's basketball program as the interim head coach. Once the WNBA season concludes, Peck will remain on staff as Associate Coach.
"Carolyn is someone who can really hit the ground running," said White. "I wanted to have someone in there with whom I could have frank, honest communication, that could carry out the vision of what we want to accomplish as a program on the court, in the classroom, in the community and from a recruiting standpoint. Carolyn knows me, how I operate and my expectation level; and we have a great relationship, so it's a natural fit. I also knew that I wanted to have a Vanderbilt alum that is really ingrained in the community and understands the core values of Vanderbilt University, so it's a win, win."
Peck coached at Purdue from 1997-99, and has also been a head coach at the University of Florida (2002-2007) and for the WNBA's Orlando Miracle, where she also served as the general manager.
Kelly Komara joined Vanderbilt head coach Stephanie White's staff as an assistant coach on June 8, 2016.
Komara came to Vanderbilt from Purdue, where she spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach.
Komara was a standout player at Purdue from 1998-2002. She and White were teammates on the 1999 Purdue team that captured the national championship. Purdue was coached that season by Carolyn Peck, who is now an associate coach on White's staff at Vanderbilt.
"It's such an honor for me to bring to Kelly into the Vanderbilt community," said White. "Kelly's love and passion for the game and helping young people reach their potential is infectious. We have a long history together and one of the things I've always admired is her incredible work ethic and drive to be the best. She's a terrific addition to our staff and we look forward to getting to work."
Director of Basketball Operations
Drew Stanich was named the Director of Basketball Operations in June of 2016 and joined head coach Stephanie White's inaugural staff at Vanderbilt.
He comes to Vanderbilt after serving three seasons with WNBA's Indiana Fever as the Equipment Operations Coordinator.
With the Fever, Stanich managed all team apparel -- including ordering, inventory, and distribution -- and traveled with the Fever on all road trips. He also oversaw the team's intern and managed a "Ball Kid" program that consisted of 20 high school and college students.
Also during his time with Indiana, he spent the 2015 WNBA offseason with Tamika Catchings as her personal assistant. In that role, he performed administrative duties for Catchings and her "Catch the Stars" Foundation.