July 8, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern head women’s basketball coach Joe McKeown has announced the addition of Kate Popovec to the team’s staff as director of player development. A former Wildcat forward, Popovec played two seasons in Evanston while obtaining her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern.
"Words cannot express how thrilled I am to return to my alma mater, as well as grateful for the opportunity to work with Coach McKeown and his staff,” Popovec said. “It was a privilege to once compete for him as a player, and the time I spent at this institution as a student-athlete is something I truly cherish. We have such a wonderfully unique tradition, and I cannot wait to contribute to the continued growth and success of the Northwestern women's basketball team."
“We are very excited to welcome Kate back to the Northwestern women’s basketball program,” McKeown said. “Kate’s enthusiasm for Northwestern was evident during her playing days and I know that will help her be successful as our director of player development. Kate is an essential part in our continued mission to provide a world-class experience for our student-athletes and we are happy to have her back in Evanston.”
As director of player development, Popovec will be responsible for preparing Wildcat women’s basketball student-athletes for personal, academic and athletic development success. She will work closely with various departments within Northwestern athletics, including academic services, community relations and NU for Life and will assist the NU coaching staff in breaking down film, along with statistical analysis.
After earning her Master’s in Sports Administration from Northwestern in 2013, Popovec spent the 2013-14 season as the director of operations for the La Salle women’s basketball team. While at La Salle, Popovec was responsible for organizing all travel as well as managing day-to-day operations for the office. She also coordinated film exchange, oversaw student managers and practice players, and served as a liaison between compliance, business, and alumni.
During her time at Northwestern, Popovec was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and one of two NU recipients of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award in 2013. She has always had the desire to enter the coaching world after her playing career and during her final year at NU, she was selected to participate in the WBCA’s “So You Want To Be A Coach” class during the 2013 Final Four in New Orleans.
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