Karen Blair joined the VCU Women’s Basketball program in August of 2015 as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. She has helped lead the program deep into the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship, and to a WNIT apperance.
A 18-year Division I veteran, Blair’s VCU appointment follows stints at North Texas, UT Arlington, Colgate and SMU.
“I'm thrilled that Karen has joined our staff. She brings a huge amount of experience, and her collaborative nature will enhance our staff as we continue building our program. Her passion for the game and integrity in how she leads, coaches and motivates her players align perfectly with our mission to ‘Be Elite’ in all we do,” VCU Head Coach Beth O’Boyle said.
“I have known Coach O'Boyle for a long time, and I have a lot of respect for her as both a coach and as a person,” Blair said. “She takes a lot of pride in developing great relationships and preparing her student-athletes for success both on and off the court. I am looking forward to being a part of the Richmond community, and I am grateful for the opportunity to represent VCU.”
Blair recently completed a two-year run at North Texas, where she specialized in the development of the Mean Green’s perimeter players, in addition to her duties in practice and on the recruiting trail.
She spent two seasons as the top assistant and eventually, interim head coach, at UT Arlington from 2011-2013. Blair coordinated the Mavericks’ national recruiting efforts and spearheaded the signing of an ESPN Hoopgurlz.com recruit and a National Junior College Athletic Association All-American. She coached UT Arlington in its final eight games of the 2013 season and directed the team to a win over eventual WAC Champion Idaho.
From 2009-2011, Blair served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Colgate. Previously, Blair spent 10 years as and assistant at SMU, her alma mater. She helped steer the Mustangs to a pair of Conference USA regular season titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances and two WNIT bids. SMU reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2000.
Blair was a three-year starting point guard for the Mustangs from 1995-1999 and led SMU to NCAA Tournament berths in 1996, 1998 and 1999. A two-year team captain, Blair was named Second Team All-WAC in 1998. She earned a slew of academic honors at the school and graduated cum laude with a degree in business administration from SMU in 1999.
She is an active member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA).