Graves March 2017 as Oregon head coach (Bridgeport Regional vs. UConn)
|Born||January 14, 1963|
Salt Lake City, Utah
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1988-1989||New Mexico (men's GA)|
|1989-1992||Big Bend CC|
|1996-1997||Saint Mary's (asst.)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|Pac-12 Tournament (2018) |
Pac-12 regular season (2018)
7× WCC Tournament (1999, 2007, 2009-2011, 2013, 2014)
10× WCC regular season (2005-2014)
|8× WCC Coach of the Year (2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014)|
2× Pac-12 Coach of the Year (2018 media, 2019 coaches)
Kelly Lee Graves (born January 14, 1963) is the current head women's basketball coach at the University of Oregon. Previously, Graves was the head women's basketball coach at St. Mary's from 1997 to 2000, as well as Gonzaga University from 2000 to 2014. He was formerly an assistant coach for the Portland Pilots (1994-1997) and St. Mary Gaels, where he later got his first head coaching stint with the Gaels from 1997-2000. From the 2004-2005 season to the 2013-2014 season, he guided Gonzaga to ten consecutive West Coast Conference regular season titles. The 2007 team went 13-1 in conference play, and later won the WCC conference tournament. The school also received its first ever NCAA tournament appearance. He was named WCC co-coach of the year for his accomplishments. In 2005, 2010, and 2011, Gonzaga went undefeated in WCC regular season play.
In 2005, Gonzaga was ranked 23rd in the nation, which was its highest ranking ever in the polls. At the end of the 2009-2010 season, the Zags was ranked 12th in the final poll, which was their highest ranking ever in the polls. At the end of the 2010-2011 season, the Zags was ranked 8th in the final poll, which is their highest ranking ever in the polls.
Graves led the Gaels to a winning season in the first season of coaching with a 19-9, 9-4 in WCC play, tied for fourth in the conference. The next year, Graves led the Gaels to their first ever NCAA tournament with a 27-7 record and tied for 1st in the WCC regular season conference. In his final year as coach of the Gaels, Graves led the Gaels to a NIT tournament and lost in the second round.
In April 2000, Graves was named head coach for Gonzaga. In his 14 years as coach for the Bulldogs, Graves turned the program from a last-place finish in the WCC to a national contender. For the past 10 years, Gonzaga have won or co-shared the regular season WCC title and the last six out of seven years, Gonzaga had made it into the NCAA tournament, with the WCC first ever at-large bid in the 2011-2012 basketball season. On April 7, 2014, Oregon named Graves as their head coach. On April 14, 2014, assistant coach Lisa Mispley Fortier succeeded Graves as head coach.
On April 7, 2014, Oregon named Graves as their head coach, succeeding Paul Westhead, who was let go at the end of the 2013-14 season. The Ducks finished Graves's first season as head coach with a 13-17 record, 6-12 in the Pac-12, which was Graves' first losing season since his second year as head coach for the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the 2001-2002 season. In his second season, the team achieved a 24-11 record and made it to the WNIT semi-finals, where they lost to eventual champion South Dakota Coyotes 88-54. The next season, Graves led the Ducks to the Elite 8, where they lost to the Connecticut Huskies 90-52. The Ducks also reached the Elite 8 the next year, where they lost to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 84-74 to finish 33-5, the most wins in program history.
In the 2006-2007 season in West Coast Conference play, Gonzaga guided to a 13-1 record in conference play. The lone loss was against Pepperdine at McCarthey Athletic Center. In the middle of the season, future All-American Courtney Vandersloot signed with the Zags. In the WCC tournament, Gonzaga defeated Portland, San Francisco, and LMU to go to their first ever NCAA tournament. In the NCAA tournament, Gonzaga played against Middle Tennessee State and they suffered an 85-46 loss at Stanford, where they finished their season with a 24-10 record.
A couple of years later in the 2008-2009 season in WCC play, Gonzaga guided with a 12-2 record in conference play, with a loss to Portland at home and Pepperdine on the road. In the WCC tournament, Gonzaga defeated LMU and San Diego to go to their second NCAA tournament. In the 2009 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament, Graves guided Gonzaga to its first ever NCAA tournament victory over Xavier 74-59 at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle, WA. They would unfortunately lose to University of Pittsburgh 65-60 in the second round.
In the 2009-10 season in West Coast Conference play, forward Heather Bowman broke the WCC and Gonzaga women's basketball school record of 2,133 points during the 2009-2010 season. Gonzaga went undefeated in West Coast Conference with a perfect 14-0 record and unbeaten in West Coast Conference tournament in Las Vegas, NV. In the 2010 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament, Graves guided Gonzaga to an 82-76 first round victory over Hall of Fame coach Sylvia Hatchell's University of North Carolina Tar Heels women's basketball team and a 72-71 second-round victory over Gary Blair's Texas A&M Aggies women's basketball team on Vivian Frieson's game winning shot with 15 seconds left in the game. This marks the first appearance in the Sweet 16 for the Zags. Gonzaga played against Xavier women's basketball team and lost 74-56 at ARCO Arena in Sacramento.
The next year, Gonzaga went undefeated in West Coast Conference with a perfect 14-0 record for the second year in a row and unbeaten in the WCC tournament in Las Vegas, NV. In the 2011 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament, Graves guided Gonzaga to a 92-86 victory over Lisa Bluder's University of Iowa women's basketball team and an 89-75 victory over Nikki Caldwell's UCLA Bruins. Both games were held at the McCarthey Athletic Center. In the UCLA game, senior guard Courtney Vandersloot became the first Division I women's or men's basketball player to score 2,000 points and tally 1,000 assists in their career. The Zags won 76-69 over Jeff Walz's Louisville Cardinals to set up their first ever Elite 8 matchup against Tara Vanderveer's Stanford Cardinals. Gonzaga's season ended with an 83-60 loss and the loss ended Courtney Vandersloot's magical career. At the end of the season, the University of Washington was interested in hiring Graves for head coach, but Graves wasn't interested in the job and he decides to stay with Gonzaga. At the end of March 2011, Gonzaga signed an extension for Kelly Graves to coach the women's team until the 2020-2021 season.
The next year, the Zags went through the conference with a 14-2 with their first WCC loss in nearly three years at home to St. Mary's and a 30-point loss to Jeff Judkins' BYU Cougars, which is their biggest loss in nearly 10 years. The Zags won against the St. Mary's Gaels and lost to the BYU Cougars. The Cougars were automatically selected to the NCAA Tournament, while the Zags had to wait and see if they are in the tournament or not. Since Gonzaga is one of 16 locations to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament, Gonzaga was picked as a #11 seed in the Kingston region as an at-large bid, the first in WCC women's basketball history. This is Gonzaga's fourth consecutive NCAA tournament. The Zags defeated Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer's Rutgers Scarlet Knights 86-73 and a 65-54 victory over Katie Meier's Miami Hurricanes to make their third consecutive Sweet 16 appearance. Both games were held at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga lost to Matthew Mitchell's Kentucky Wildcats 79-62 to end their season on 28-6.
The next year, Gonzaga went 15-1 in conference play with the lone loss at St. Mary's by a final of 54-51. Gonzaga picked up their ninth consecutive regular crown with a 66-55 win over BYU at their homecourt, where the Zags will be the #1 seed in the WCC tournament. Gonzaga defeated BYU 62-43 and defeated San Diego 62-50 to win their fifth WCC Tournament title and they are guaranteed to play at the McCarthey Athletic Center, where they will host Bill Fennelly's Iowa State Cyclones.
The Zags played against Iowa State in a sold out crowd of 6,000; mostly Zags fans. The Zags lost to the Cyclones 72-60, which ended their 15-game winning streak, four straight NCAA Tournament victories at McCarthey Athletic Center, and four consecutive first round victories. The Zags ended the year with a 27-6 record.
The next year, Gonzaga went 10-2 in non-conference. The biggest highlight in non-conference was the Ohio State game at Value City Arena, where Shaniqua Nilles scored the final four points of the game for the Zags, including the game winning jumper as time expired, where the Zags escaped with a 59-58 win.
The Zags went 16-2 in conference play with both losses on the road at St. Mary's by a final of 79-78 in overtime on December 28, which was the start of West Coast Conference and at BYU on February 15 by a final of 62-52. Gonzaga picked up their tenth consecutive regular season crown with a 75-65 win over Saint Mary's at McCarthey Athletic Center on February 27, where the Zags will be the #1 seed in the WCC tournament. Gonzaga defeated San Francisco 81-68, defeated Saint Mary's 68-60, and defeated BYU 71-57 to win their sixth WCC Tournament title. Gonzaga was selected as a #6 seed, where they played against James Madison University at Reed Arena at the University of Texas A&M campus, where they lost to the Dukes 72-63 to end their season at 29-5 and Graves' 14 years run as head coach for the Zags.
Kelly Graves was introduced as the head coach of the Oregon Ducks women's basketball on April 7, 2014. The Oregon Ducks opened up the Kelly Graves era with a 100-77 win over Utah State. The Ducks finished non-conference with a 7-4 record. Graves picked up his first career Pac-12 victory with a 62-46 over the UCLA Bruins at the Pauley Pavilion. The Ducks finished their season with a 13-17 record, Graves' first losing season since his second year at Gonzaga back in the 2001-2002 season. Graves finished Pac-12 Conference with a 6-12 record.
The Ducks finished non-conference season undefeated, which featured a 79-77 upset over the #22 North Carolina, Kelly Graves' 400th career win against North Dakota State, and the Ducks' largest margin of victory (122-59) since the 1978-79 season. The Ducks finished with a 9-9 record in Pac-12 play to finish sixth place. The Ducks lost to the Arizona Wildcats 74-68 in the opening game of the Pac-12 Tournament at Key Arena in Seattle, WA on March 3.
The Ducks were selected to the WNIT, where they hosted Long Beach 49ers. The Ducks defeated the 49ers 84-76 to play at Fresno State on March 21. The Ducks defeated the Fresno State Bulldogs 84-59 to play against their Pac-12 rival; Utah Utes, who defeated Graves' former team; the Gonzaga Bulldogs 92-77. The Ducks defeated the Utah Utes 73-63 to advance to the WNIT quarterfinals to play against UTEP. The next game, the Ducks defeated the UTEP Miners 71-67 after trailing 27-9 with approximately 8 minutes left in the first half against the Miners. The next game, the Ducks trailed throughout the game and lose to the South Dakota Coyotes in the WNIT semifinals 88-54 to end their season at 24-11. The 24 wins is the most in a season since 2001-2002, where former Oregon coach Bev Smith led the Ducks to a 22 wins season.
Graves led his youngest Ducks team in their women's basketball program history by starting three freshmen, most notably future Ducks icon Sabrina Ionescu. They finished non-conference with a 10-2 record, and finishing in sixth place for Pac-12 play with an 8-10 record. The Ducks received an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament as a #10 seed, their first bid since the 2005 season. The Ducks defeated #7 Temple 71-70 and #2 Duke 74-65 at Cameron Indoor Stadium to advance to their first ever Sweet 16 in program history. The Ducks continued making history, playing against Brenda Frese's Maryland Terrapins by winning 77-63 to advance to their first ever Elite 8 appearance. This was the second time Graves led a double digit seed team to an Elite 8 appearance, where he led the Zags to one six years earlier. The Ducks ended their season at 23-14 with a 90-52 loss to the UConn Huskies.
Graves led the Ducks to a record of 27-4 and their first Pac-12 title for women's basketball in 18 years with a 16-2 record in Pac-12 play. As a sophomore, Ionescu set a record for most career triple-doubles in NCAA women's basketball, ending the season with 10. The Ducks won their first ever Pac-12 Tournament title with wins over Colorado, UCLA, and Stanford. The Ducks were selected as the #2 seed in the Spokane region. The Ducks defeated the Seattle Redhawks 88-45 and the Minnesota Golden Gophers 101-73 at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks made it to the regional round for the second consecutive year, which marked a homecoming for Graves, who was head coach for the Zags from 2000-2014. The Ducks defeated Central Michigan 83-69 to advance to the Elite 8 for the second year in a row, facing against the top-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Ducks' season came to a close with an 84-74 loss to eventual national champion Notre Dame to finish the season with a 33-5 record. The 33 wins were the most in program history.
Graves led the Ducks to their second consecutive Pac-12 regular season title with a 16-2 Pac-12 record and 27-3 overall.
The Ducks advanced to their second consecutive Pac-12 tournament title game, where they lost to Stanford 64-57.
The Ducks advanced to their third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance as an at-large bid.
The Ducks defeated Portland State and Indiana at Matthew Knight Arena to advance to their third consecutive Sweet 16 and travel to Portland for the regionals. 
Oregon advanced to their first ever Final Four berth with wins over South Dakota State and Mississippi State.
The Ducks magical season ended short with a 72-67 loss to Baylor in the national semifinals to finish the season with a 33-5 record.
In April 2012, Graves was named as one of two assistant coaches for the USA U-18 basketball team, coached by Miami Hurricanes women's basketball coach Katie Meier and LSU women's basketball coach Nikki Caldwell is the other assistant coach. The U-18 basketball won gold medal against Brazil, 71-47, which was their sixth straight gold medal.
For the second straight year, Graves was named assistant coach, but this time for the USA U-19 women's basketball team. The USA U-19 team won their seventh straight gold medal with a 61-28 win over France.
As Gonzaga head coach
As Oregon head coach
|Saint Mary's Gaels (WCC) (1997-2000)|
|1998-99||Saint Mary's||27-7||9-5||T-2nd||NCAA First Round|
|1999-00||Saint Mary's||20-10||11-3||T-1st||WNIT First Round|
|Saint Mary's:||66-26 (.717)||29-13 (.690)|
|Gonzaga Bulldogs (WCC) (2000-2014)|
|2003-04||Gonzaga||18-12||10-4||T-2nd||WNIT First Round|
|2004-05||Gonzaga||28-4||14-0||1st||WNIT Second Round|
|2006-07||Gonzaga||24-10||13-1||1st||NCAA First Round|
|2007-08||Gonzaga||25-9||13-1||1st||WNIT Second Round|
|2008-09||Gonzaga||27-7||12-2||1st||NCAA Second Round|
|2009-10||Gonzaga||29-5||14-0||1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2010-11||Gonzaga||31-5||14-0||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2011-12||Gonzaga||28-6||14-2||1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2012-13||Gonzaga||27-6||15-1||1st||NCAA First Round|
|2013-14||Gonzaga||29-5||16-2||1st||NCAA First Round|
|Gonzaga:||316-136 (.699)||157-47 (.770)|
|Oregon Ducks (Pac-12) (2014-present)|
|2016-17||Oregon||23-13||8-10||6th||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2017-18||Oregon||33-5||16-2||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2018-19||Oregon||33-5||16-2||1st||NCAA Final Four|
|Oregon:||126-51 (.712)||55-35 (.611)|
Postseason invitational champion