DURHAM, N.C. – Duke women’s basketball head coach Joanne P. McCallie has announced two staff changes effective immediately. Jim Corrigan has been elevated from special assistant to assistant coach, while 2008 Blue Devil graduate Wanisha Smith returns to Durham as assistant coach.
With the staff movement, current assistant coach Sam Miller and Smith will work with the guards, while Corrigan will lead the post players.
Corrigan joined Blue Devils in December of 2017 and has been a valuable asset to the program in his short time. A 1980 Duke graduate, owns over 30 years of collegiate coaching experience and most recently spent the last four years on the women’s basketball staff at Old Dominion. Corrigan spent a total of 23 years at Old Dominion, with the first 19 years of his tenure taking place as an assistant coach and later as an interim head coach for the men’s basketball program.
“Jim has been a special addition to our staff,” added McCallie. “His work ethic, technical knowledge of the game, experience in all areas, loyalty, and eagerness to recruit the best student-athletes to Duke makes him enormously valuable. It is very natural for him transition to a full coaching position.”
During his time at Old Dominion, Corrigan helped lead the Monarchs to five Colonial Athletic Association Championships, six NCAA Tournament appearances, and two trips to the WNIT. Over an eight-year stretch in which the Old Dominion men’s basketball program achieved consecutive postseason play, the Monarchs averaged 25 wins and reached the NCAA Tournament four times. Also during this time, Old Dominion reached the NIT Final Four and won the first-ever CIT tournament.
In 2012, Bleacher Report named Corrigan one of the nation’s top 15 assistant coaches and Fox Sports’ Jeff Goodman recently tabbed Corrigan as the top assistant in the CAA.
Smith returns to Duke, after a two-year stint as assistant coach at Towson University where she helped lead the Tigers (20-13) to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history this past season. Towson, seeded No. 4 in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament, made an improbable run to the championship and upset second-seeded Drexel, 53-49, in the title game to win its first league title in school history.
Prior to arriving at Towson, Smith spent eight years at Longwood University as assistant coach.
At Duke, Smith helped the Blue Devils to a 119-15 overall record and an appearance in the 2006 NCAA Final Four. Smith recorded 1,256 points and still ranks fifth for single-season assists (154) and for career assists (496). She was a four-time ACC Rookie of the Week and her 154 assists during the 2014-15 season set a freshman assists mark. After serving as a team captain during her senior season she was drafted 27th overall by the New York Liberty. Smith went on to play for the Detroit Shock in the WNBA.
“We are thrilled to welcome Nish back to Duke,” said McCallie. “Her work ethic, court presence, recruiting success and NCAA experience speaks for itself. As on the only senior on my first Duke team, Nish made her mark as a special and very loyal leader. We are all so excited to have her back!”
She earned a bachelor of arts degree in women’s studies in 2008 at Duke.
Smith played at Riverdale Baptist High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland where she was a McDonalds, WBCA and Parade All-America in 2004. Smith was honored as the Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year and the Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year as a senior in 2004. Smith started her high school career in Ohio and was named the Co-Player of the Year in 2002. She scored over 2,500 points during her high school career.
As McCallie enters her 13th year with the Blue Devils, she will welcome back all five starters and 94.60 percent of Duke’s scoring from a year ago. This includes All-ACC First Team selection Haley Gorecki and All-ACC Freshman honoree Miela Goodchild.