Women's Basketball Coaches
|Position:||Head Women's Basketball Coach|
LIZ TURNER '98 COACHING CHAIR FOR WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Head Coach Jean Marie Burr enters her 25th year at the helm of
the Brown women's basketball program. The winningest coach in Brown
basketball history (men's and women's), Burr has compiled 15
winning Ivy League seasons, including three consecutive League
Titles from 1991-94.
In 1994, Brown made Ivy League history as it was the first team in the conference to appear in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. She has also led Brown to eleven top-three finishes in the league. Recording her 200th career victory during the 2002-03 season, Burr entered the 2007-08 campaign with 266 wins to her credit.
Burr's mentality of strong teamwork, dedication and community involvement have helped produce some of the most prominent Brown alumnae. From U.S. attorneys to professional athletes, Burr has coached a string of winners on and off the court. She coached 2004 Joslin Award winner Miranda Craigwell '04, who also received the David Zucconi '55 Fellowship. Burr has also strived for her players to be closely involved in the local community, as her teams have participated in numerous fundraisers and programs throughout the years, including a twelve-year relationship with the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School at Fox Point in Providence.
Burr helped put the Bears on the road to success in just her first year at Brown. Despite inheriting a 6-20 team in 1988-89, she quickly turned things around. The Bear's 16-10 record that year was their best mark since winning back-to-back Ivy Championships in 1983-84 and 1984-85. The turnaround established Brown as one of the most improved teams in the country and Burr was honored as the Converse District I Coach of the Year.
Over the next two years, Brown finished second in the Ivy League standings, including a 19-7 mark in 1990-91, which broke the school record for wins in a season at the time.
In 1991-92, Burr led the Bears to their first Ivy League Title since the 1984-85 season with record-breaking 22-4 overall and 13-1 Ivy records. Brown had a total of five players selected to the All-Ivy teams and for the fifth consecutive year, the Ivy Rookie of the Year.
The Bears began the 1992-93 season as the preseason favorite for the first time in Burr's tenure. There was constant pressure to perform, as Brown became the team to beat in the Ancient Eight. Burr, an excellent motivator, prepared her team for this completely different mental challenge. As a result, the Bears brought home their second straight Ivy title after defeating Harvard in a hard-fought 87-81 overtime battle in Cambridge. Burr was honored by the Rhode Island sports media for her outstanding year by being selected as the 1993 Rhode Island Female Sports Coach of the Year.
Her team continued to rise to higher levels in the 1993-94 season, capturing its third consecutive Ivy championship, and winning a playoff game against co-champion Dartmouth to earn the Ivy League's first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Bears finished the regular season with an 18-9 overall record and an 11-3 Ivy mark. In Brown's first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, Burr's squad quieted a sold-out crowd in Storrs, Connecticut, as the Bears took a 35-35 tie into the locker room at the half and held a second-half lead against the first-seeded UConn Huskies. The final score, however, found eventual "Elite Eight" finisher UConn on top of the feisty competitors from Brown, 79-60. For her excellence in coaching, Burr was again voted the Rhode Island Female Sports Coach of the Year.
After building a foundation of top-ranked players and further developing their talents, Burr led her team to a third place finish in the Ivy League in the 1994-95 season. The Bears finished 12-14 overall, including impressive wins over Ivy champion Dartmouth and runner-up Harvard, making them the only team in the Ancient Eight that defeated both teams.
During the 1995-96 campaign, Burr guided her young squad to a 10-16 overall record, and a 7-7 league mark, as the Bears tackled one of their most competitive schedules in history. Five of Brown's opponents qualified for the NCAA tournament and one saw postseason action in the NIT.
In the 1996-97 season, Burr guided a young team with no seniors to great heights as the underdog Bears took the Ivy League by surprise and finished with a 15-11 overall mark, and a 10-4 showing in the league, good for second place. Burr's recruiting abilities were evident again, as she witnessed the emergence of a gifted rookie class, including another Ivy Rookie of the Year, Burr's fifth in her nine-year career.
For the 1997-98 season, Burr's squad sustained injuries to key players, yet she was still able to put together a 7-7 mark in league play and an 11-15 overall ledger. The team improved the following year, finishing 12-14 overall and 7-7 in Ivy League action.
The 1999-00 season marked the beginning of a difficult time for the Bears as they struggled over the next three years with losing records. Brown's 4-10 Ivy mark in 1999-00 was the team's first losing season since 1987-88 and the first ever for Burr. In the 2000-2001 campaign, the Bears went 10-17, with a 5-7 Ivy League record. Things didn't get any easier for the Bears as it finished with a 5-22 overall and 2-12 Ivy record, the team's worst finish in its 30 year history.
In one of the biggest turnarounds in Brown and Ivy League history, the Bears jumped from last place to second place in the league, tripling its victory output from the previous year. To the surprise of many, Brown closed out the season with a 15-12 overall and 9-5 mark in the Ancient Eight. "That season showed what can happen when people really pull together," says Burr.
The Bears continued to improve in 2003-04, matching its 9-5 Ivy mark from the previous year and racked up a 16-11 overall record. Brown recorded victories over all seven Ivy opponents for the first time since the 1993-94 season.
In 2004-05, Burr led Brown to a record-breaking 18-9 season. The team's 18 wins were the third most in the programs history and the most since the 1993-94 season. The Bears placed two on the All-Ivy First Team for just the fifth time in Brown basketball (men's and women's) history. In addition, Burr was named the Rhode Island Division I Coach of the Year. In 2005-06, Burr led her Bears to another Ivy League title with a record of 19-10, 12-2. Sarah Hayes '06 was named the Ivy's Player of the Year and Colleen Kelly '06 was named to the All-Ivy Second Team. Though the team has not captured a league title in recent years, Burr has guided three players to the Ivy League's All-Rookie team. Lindsay Walls '10 received the honor in 2007, Sadiea Williams '11 in 2008, and most recently Lauren Clarke '14 in 2011.
Coach Burr has an extensive and varied coaching and athletic
background. Before coming to Brown, Burr was an assistant
coach at Fairfield University for three years.
A 1977 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Burr earned a degree in business administration. After graduation, she spent one year as an assistant coach at Davidson College and then played professional basketball for the New Jersey Gems of the Women's Basketball League, and was a member of the first draft in women's professional basketball. She became an assistant basketball coach and head volleyball coach for Amherst College as well as a graduate assistant for softball at the University of Massachusetts, where she earned a master's degree in sport management in 1982. She later served as women's athletic director and head basketball and volleyball coach at Bethany College in West Virginia for three years before moving on to Fairfield.
In addition to her passion for coaching winning teams, Burr has served on the Board of Directors for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the Women's Sports Foundation. A national lecturer and a great motivator, she was recently honored with her selection into the University of New Hampshire Athletic Hall of Honor as well as the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
Burr resides in Coventry, Rhode Island with her husband, Peter, and their four daughters; Judee Lena , Jessica Marie, Joanna Christine , and Jenna Rose.
|178||Ivy League Wins|
|51||All-Ivy League Honorees|
|15||Winning Seasons (at Brown)|
|9||First Team All-Ivy selections|
|6||Ivy League Rookies of the Year|
|4||Ivy League Championship|
|2||Ivy League Players of the Year|
|1||NCAA Tournament Appearance|
* Brown's all-time winningest basketball coach
* Converse District 1 Coach of the Year (1985)
* Rhode Island Female Sports Coach of the Year (1993, 1994, 2005, 2012)
* Received first scholarship at the University of New Hampshire
* University of New Hampshire Athletic Hall of Honor
* Drafted to play professional basketball
* New England Basketball Hall of Fame
* Coached one Olympic Athlete
Former Brown women's basketball standout, Colleen Kelly '06, joined the Bears coaching staff in July of 2009 as an assistant coach. Kelly comes to Brown from Colgate, where she spent the last two years serving as an assistant coach.
"It's an honor to be back at Brown and working with Coach Burr," said Kelly. "Brown is a great place that has given me a lot of opportunities and I want to share my passion for Brown and its basketball program with everyone else."
During her four-year career at Brown, Kelly guided the Bears to four winning seasons and currently ranks 12th in scoring in Brown basketball history with 1,080 career points, and also holds the record for career three-pointers (170). She got off to a great start during her freshman campaign, scoring 290 points and tallying a career-high 60 steals to be named to the Ivy League's All-Rookie team while her squad placed second in the Ivy League. She then helped Brown to two more winning seasons taking second and third place finishes, and capped off her career with an Ivy League Championship compiling an overall record of 18-10 (12-2 Ivy). That season, Kelly poured in 371 points and received Second Team All-Ivy accolades giving the Bears its sixth Ivy League title.
While at Colgate for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Kelly was an assistant coach under the direction of former Brown basketball letter winner and assistant coach, Pam Bass '91. She assisted in all aspects of recruiting and was responsible for coaching the Red Raiders' guards. As the guard coach, she was responsible for overseeing the development of all guard play, including conducting individual workouts throughout the year. Kelly also coordinated all team travel arrangements, served as an academic coach and was responsible for organizing practice schedules.
Prior to Colgate, Kelly served as an assistant at Longwood University in Farmville, VA. Kelly is a graduate of the WBCA's Nike So You Want to Be a Coach Program. She has worked numerous summer basketball camps and clinics in both Rhode Island and New York and also earned many academic-related awards, including the United States Army Reserve National Scholar-Athlete and U.S. Marine Corp Distinguished Athlete awards.
A native of Webster, N.Y., Kelly earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business economics from Brown in 2006. Additionally, she was a three-sport standout at Webster Schroeder High School in Rochester, N.Y., where she is the all-time leading scorer in Warrior basketball history.
Jonathan Parsons joined the Brown women's basketball staff in July of 2009. Parsons was previously at the University of New Haven, where he spent a year as a volunteer assistant coach, while also serving as the Graduate Assistant for NCAA Compliance and Student Development.
In his time at UNH, Parsons helped guide the women's basketball
program to a record of 16-13 (10-12 NE-10) and its first ever
Northeast-10 play-off berth and quarterfinal appearance. Parsons
duties included, but were not limited to on-campus recruiting,
scouting opponents, evaluating prospective student-athletes,
directing basketball clinics, and coordinating the online film
Prior to New Haven, Parsons spent four years at Sacred Heart University with the Pioneers Men's Basketball Program. He was the head student manager during that time under Head Coach Dave Bike. He coordinated film exchange for three seasons, assisted in ticket operations and team meals. He also served as an Assistant Director of the Nike/SHU Men's Basketball Summer Camp for two years. He has also worked women's basketball camps at both Sacred Heart and Saint Francis University.
Additionally, Parsons has coaching experience with the Connecticut Breeze (now the Connecticut Premier) AAU 16 and under girls basketball program where he was an assistant for two summers. He helped lead the program to two AAU National Championship appearances (2007, 2008). He assisted in the development of both guard and post players, helping place players in programs such as the University of Hartford, Saint Joseph's University, and Assumption College.
A native of Stoughton, MA, he earned his Bachelor's of Science degree in Sport Management and Finance from Sacred Heart in 2008, and his Master's of Science degree in Management of Sport Industries from New Haven in 2009.
Meredith Ward joined the Brown women's basketball coaching staff in the summer of 2012. A four-year varsity letterwinner in basketball from Holy Cross and a native of Westerly, R.I., Ward earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics.
Ward competed in all 34 games during her senior season, averaging a career-best 30.4 minutes and 6.1 points per game. She notched four double-digit scoring outings, highlighted by a double-double against UMass on Nov. 22, 2011. Against the Minutewomen, Ward scored 14 points and grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds. She helped guide her team to a 19-15 overall record and a 7-7 mark in the Patriot League, while also helping the Crusaders to the Patriot League championship game and earn a spot in the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) quarterfinals.
A two-time team captain, Ward was named the 2012 Samantha Vellaccio Award recipient, which is presented annually by the Holy Cross Varsity Club to the women's basketball player who best exemplifies the mission of Holy Cross both on and off the court.