NEW ORLEANS, La. – The University of New Orleans and head women’s basketball coach Keeshawn Davenport have agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension that will keep the 2020 Eddie Robinson Award Winner on the Lakefront through the 2024-25 season.
In her ninth season at the helm of the Privateer program, Davenport guided her 2019-20 group to the highest win total since 1992-93, the most conference victories in school history and a berth in the Southland Conference postseason tournament for the fourth straight year.
The extension adds four years to Davenport’s current deal that still had one year remaining. It was set to expire after the 2020-21 season. The new contract was approved by the University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana Board of Regents.
“Coach Davenport has done a tremendous job of leading the New Orleans women’s basketball program,” New Orleans Athletic Director Tim Duncan said. “Not only did her team win the most conference games in school history, the ladies are strong students and exemplary citizens, regularly finishing at or near the top of departmental community service hours tracking. Adding four more years to her current contract is a tangible example of the faith we have in her as a coach and a leader.”
“What a blessing it is to be able to continue to lead this program,” Davenport said. “I’m in gratitude to our president Dr. John Nicklow, the University of Louisiana System, Tim and my sport administrator Kirsten Elleby who all found me worthy enough to continue to lead this program. I am just one grateful and blessed coach. I thought the Eddie Robinson Award was the icing of the summer but to be offered a four-year contract to continue to lead the New Orleans program is another blessing that I am grateful to have.”
“There were two real important things I wanted to accomplish in the new deal,” Davenport added. “Number one was to take care of my assistant coaches because they are such a great staff and number two, years are important to me. We did what we did this past season, but we had a lot of experience that graduated this year so to have an opportunity to grow and develop this predominately new team was very important to me.”
“And it’s important for recruits,” Davenport concluded. “Those who I am recruiting know that I am in it for the long-haul. The athletic department heard my voice on what was important to me and I thought they did a great job of coming to the table and offering me a contract I am really happy with.”
Davenport has turned the Privateers into a mainstay in the Southland Conference Tournament after guiding the program through one of its darkest times in program history. When she took the helm of the program in 2011, the athletic department was in turbulence. She took a team with just three scholarship players and making the jump back into NCAA Division I competition and turned into a Southland contender year-in and year-out.
Over the past three seasons, the Privateers have gone 58-58 (.500) overall which includes a mark of 41-33 (.554) in Southland play. Also included in that total are victories against the likes of Ole Miss and Memphis. New Orleans has also turned the Lakefront Arena into one of the toughest places to play in the conference as the group has compiled a 39-16 (.709) home record over that same three-year span.
Davenport will enter the 2020-21 season with 77 career wins, the second-most in New Orleans women’s basketball history.
Davenport joined Ed Daniels on the WGNo Sportszone last month to talk about her career: