Carrie Moore was named the new Head Coach at Harvard University in April of 2022 following 12 seasons as an Assistant Coach at the Division I level. Most recently, Moore was an Assistant Coach at the University of Michigan for one season, where she helped lead the program to a 25-7 overall record and third seed in the NCAA Tournament, resulting in the program’s first Elite Eight appearance. Moore also spent time as an Assistant Coach at North Carolina, Princeton, and Creighton. Having experience within The Ivy League and being at multiple program’s that have a history of success, Moore is well-prepared to do the same at Harvard University.
Can you walk our audience through the search process that resulted in you being offered the exciting opportunity to be the next Head Coach at Harvard?
The search process was surprisingly rather simple. It was unique in that I knew the position was open for an entire calendar season because the former head coach, Kathy Delaney-Smith, announced her retirement at the beginning of the season. So, I immediately reached out to mentors and talked through the opportunity in-depth.
I was also connected to Erin McDermott, the athletic director at Harvard, after working with her previously at Princeton University early in my coaching career. I utilized my network to let her and the University administration know that I was interested in the job. After a conversation with her in the Spring, it was made clear that not only was I very interested in the job, they were very interested in me for the position as well.
I met with the search committee once on a Zoom interview, followed by an on-campus interview. I was offered the job that evening before coming home. It was a stressful process, but also pretty smooth. I felt supported, wanted, but most importantly needed here. It was a perfect fit, and I’m so fortunate to have had all things align in this way.
While still fresh in your mind, what would you now suggest three priorities be for someone’s first 30 days as a new Head Coach taking over a program?
I would suggest three priorities for every new head coach to be:
- Invest in your current team from Day One.
- Take your time and be patient with hiring staff. These hires are so crucial and if done incorrectly, can essentially derail your immediate success. Get the right people for the job!
- RECRUIT. RECRUIT. RECRUIT!
Knowing what you know now as a Head Coach, what advice do you have for assistant coaches to best prepare to lead their own program for the first time?
Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. Invest in being great as an assistant coach so all things feel somewhat familiar when you now have the opportunity to run your own program. Invest in a friend or mentor group in our business that you come to know and trust. It’s been incredibly helpful to have people in my corner that I can ask questions to, bounce ideas off of, and ultimately gain perspective.
I would also have an idea of who you may want to hire when you become a head coach. Having a short list was something that was told me to for years and having it was extremely helpful. Also, have fun with it! Being a head coach is not something you have to do, it’s something you now have the opportunity to get to do every day.
Finally, invest in those around you. A genuine approach with people is always appreciated. Say please and thank you. Communicate directly and honestly with players and staff, and be ready to make a lot of decisions!