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Duquesne's McConnell-Serio gets contract extension

Duquesne women's basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio, who received a contract extension Monday, has led the Dukes to four straight 20-win seasons. Tribune-Review file

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Monday, May 14, 2012, 4:28 p.m.
 

Duquesne women's basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio received a contract extension on Monday that will keep her at the school through the 2017-18 season.

The coming year will be McConnell-Serio's sixth with the Dukes. Her previous contract, signed in August 2009, expired at the end of 2013-14.

“I'm very excited,” she said. “Duquesne is where I want to be and I'm very happy here. I appreciate the fact that they continue to invest in us and want us here.”

The Duquesne women had never won 20 games in a season or reached the postseason prior to McConnell-Serio's arrival. This year was their fourth straight 20-win season, as well as their fourth consecutive appearance in the WNIT.

“We are committed to Suzie and the job she has done in building and leading our women's basketball program,” athletic director Greg Amodio said. “Through passion and hard work, she has made our program into one that has not only made great strides, but also one that is positioned to do great things in the future. Duquesne women's basketball is clearly heading in the right direction under Suzie's guidance.”

McConnell-Serio's success with Duquesne hasn't gone unnoticed, and, without naming names, the former Penn State standout and Olympian said that she has received calls from other programs.

“When that happens you listen and consider, but I'm very excited about the opportunity I have here at Duquesne,” the Brookline native said. “This is where I want to be.”

Hours after signing the deal, McConnell-Serio was at Pittsburgh International Airport waiting for a recruit to arrive. She's also been busy helping piece together a team trip to Canada in August, which not only will allow them to get early practice time in but also give players such as Wumi Agunbiade the chance to play in front of a hometown crowd, and waiting to hear whether point guard Vanessa Abel will be granted another season of eligibility. Abel had knee surgery in early January, and her absence for the rest of the season hurt the Dukes, who were 12-3 with her in the lineup and 8-9 without her.

“We're hoping, but we're not sure how it will go,” McConnell-Serio said. “She put so much time and energy into our team and her game and she's such a hard worker.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7980 or kprice@tribweb.com.

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