April 1, 1997

Peck Named Head Coach of Boilermakers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Carolyn Peck has been named head coach of the Purdue women's basketball team, Morgan Burke, director of intercollegiate athletics, announced today.

Peck's appointment follows the announcement that Nell Fortner, who coached the Boilermakers to a Big Ten co-championship in her first season, will leave Purdue to become head coach of the USA Basketball Women's National Team Program.

Peck was Fortner's top assistant last season.

"Anyone who has met Carolyn Peck or watched her work knows she was destined to become the head coach of top program," Burke said. "We are very excited about the future of the Boilermaker program under her leadership.

"Obviously, we did not anticipate that the unique opportunity to coach Team USA would take Nell Fortner away from Purdue after just one season, but as soon as Nell told Joni Comstock (associate athletic director) and me about the possibility, we knew that our decision would be to promote Carolyn.

"She played a major role in the team's remarkable 1996-97 season; she has been around winning programs throughout her career; she is a gifted recruiter; and she already has a great relationship with our players and incoming recruits."

Peck, who came to Purdue after a year as an assistant coach at Kentucky and two years at Tennessee, said she is eager take the reins of the Purdue program.

"This is a dream come true for me," she said. "I have always wanted to be the head coach of top program, but to get this opportunity at Purdue as my first head coaching job is more than I could have hoped. Everything that's needed to succeed is right here -- a fantastic group of players, great facilities and a supportive administration. I can't wait to get started.

"The fact that I am getting the job because of Nell's wonderful opportunity with the national team makes it all the better."

Before beginning her coaching career, Peck, 31, played professional basketball for the Nippondenso Corporation in Japan where she led her team to a championship in 1993. She was an outstanding player at Vanderbilt from 1984 through 1988, captaining the teams in both her junior and senior years.

During her two seasons as an assistant at Tennessee, the Lady Vols were undefeated in regular season play both years and reached the national championship game in 1995.