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Courtesy: Orin Day,
Hernando Planells and Michele Van Gorp
McCallie Announces Staff Changes for 2013-14
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 06/10/2013
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DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University head coach Joanne P. McCallie announced on Monday the addition of Duke alum and former All-America Michele Van Gorp along with the promotion of Hernando Planells effective immediately.

Planells will take over as assistant coach for the Blue Devils, while Van Gorp will be the Director of Women’s Basketball Recruiting Operations.  

“We are thrilled with the addition of Michele and for Hernando moving into an assistant coaching position,” said McCallie.  “They are both terrific people, highly motivated and have had great life experiences.  It will be great to welcome Michele back to Duke, after such an outstanding collegiate career with the Blue Devils.  Hernando has been around the game for a long time and brings great experience and enthusiasm to our staff. ”

Planells served as the director of relations for the Duke women’s basketball program in 2012-13 and will now serve as an assistant coach along with Al Brown and Candice Jackson.  Both Jackson and Planells will coach the guards, along with serving as recruiting coordinators.  

“I am extremely blessed to work for Coach P, who is one of the premiere coaches in basketball, and at Duke, which is one of the top universities in the country,” commented Planells.  “As a coach, you work hard throughout your career learning and preparing for an opportunity such as this one and I cannot thank Coach P enough. I am excited to be a part of the strong Duke women’s basketball tradition and I look forward to pursuing championships.”

Planells has one of the most diverse backgrounds in basketball in both coaching and player development.  He has coached at every level including a stint with the Maine Red Claws from 2010-11 of the NBA Development League. Some of the players he coached include Avery Bradley, Magnum Rolle, Mario West and NBA D League Rookie of the Year Deshaun Sims.  Planells, who is a graduate of Regis University, has also spoken at coaching clinics and conducts player development camps all over the United States and in countries such as Japan, Philippines, Australia, Switzerland and Taiwan.  

Other coaching stints for Planells include the head coach of the Ryukyu Golden Kings part of the BJ League in Japan, head coach of The Hollywood Fame in the ABA, head coach of the Wyoming Golden Eagles and assistant coach at Citrus College, head coach at Los Angeles H.S., head coach at Immaculate Heart H.S. and assistant coach at Monrovia H.S.  He also served as a scout for Marty Blake, who is the Director of Scouting for the NBA, for five years.

Van Gorp, who is a 1999 Duke graduate, will join the Blue Devils after spending last season as the Director of Basketball Operations at Georgia Tech.  As the Director of Basketball Relations with the Blue Devils, she will manage the recruiting database, organize all on campus recruiting efforts, help with DWB program marketing and promotion efforts, assist with all DWB social media, coordinate external/community relation events, organize DWB scout team and other administrative duties.

“I am really amazed, excited and ecstatic to be able to return to Duke,” said Van Gorp.  “It has always felt like home to me and I have always had a passion for Duke and the athletic program.  It just feels right to be returning.”

A native of Macomb, Mich., Van Gorp played her freshman and sophomore years at Purdue University for Lin Dunn before transferring to Duke to play her final two seasons under Gail Goestenkors. At Duke, Van Gorp was a 1999 First Team All-ACC selection and a Kodak All-America. The 6-5 center earned 1999 NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team honors after helping lead the Blue Devils to their first Final Four in San Jose, Calif.

“Coach P has done a great job since arriving at Duke and has continued to succeed with the program,” commented Van Gorp.  “She is poised to take it to the next level.  Coach P has had plenty of experience at NCAA Final Fours and championship games.  I feel like this is the time to turn that corner and bring a championship home.  I am really elated to hopefully be a part of that.”

In two years at Duke, Van Gorp played in 68 contests, while staring 58.  Van Gorp averaged 16.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks as a senior, while hitting 62.0 percent of her field goals.  Over her career, she averaged 13.9 points, 48 rebounds and blocked 58 shots.  She was a 1999 third team Associated Press All-America.

Following her collegiate career, Van Gorp became the first Blue Devil drafted in the WNBA when the New York Liberty selected her in the second round of the 1999 WNBA Draft. She played six seasons in the WNBA with three teams and played internationally in France, Greece, Italy, Russia and Spain.

Van Gorp is currently working towards her MBA.  

Planells will be taking over for Joy Cheek, who took an assistant coaching position at Ohio State, while Van Gorp is replacing Sarah Smoak, who is now an assistant coach at Coastal Carolina.