BALTIMORE – Coppin State Athletics has named former WNBA player, Laura Harper, as its next women's basketball head coach. The announcement was made by Director of Athletics Derek Carter on Monday morning.
"Having a platform as a woman of color, while coaching at an HBCU during this racially sensitive time in our country, inspires me," said Harper. "And I am beyond ready to help lead this group of committed, young women into a new era of Eagles basketball."
Since the conclusion of her playing career, Harper has worked as an assistant coach at four NCAA Division I institutions as well as a season as head coach at a top collegiate preparatory school.
Harper most recently served as the head coach at Montverde Academy, one of the premier high school programs in the State of Florida. Harper guided the Eagles to an 18-6 mark this past season and helped all five of her seniors earn NCAA Division I scholarships.
Prior to her time at Montverde, Harper assisted the women's basketball team at the University of Florida for two seasons. Under Harpers' tutelage, Paulina Hersler, who is now playing professionally in Sweden, and 1,200-point scorer Haley Lorenzen, had career years as seniors.
Before moving to the Sunshine State, Harper spent the 2016-17 season at George Washington University under Women's Basketball Hall of Famer Jennifer Rizzotti. That season, the Colonials won an Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship and advanced to the WNIT, while Harper helped post players Lexi Martins and Caira Washington receive All-Conference honors.
For two years, Harper also worked as an assistant coach at High Point University. In her first season, senior Stacia Robertson was named the Big South Player of the Year and an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American before going on to play overseas. The Panthers won 20 games during the 2014-15 season and advanced to the Conference Championship Game.
Harper got her start in coaching as an assistant at Loyola University Maryland during the 2013-14 campaign where she was responsible for post player development, scouting, and served as an academic liaison for the Greyhounds.
A four-year standout at the University of Maryland, Harper was named the 2006 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player after leading the Terrapins to a National Championship. Harper was also part of two Maryland teams that advanced to the Elite Eight, a 2007 Naismith Award Finalist and a two-time Naismith Award Preseason Candidate. As a senior, Harper was a Third Team All-ACC honoree and Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American. Harper still owns the Maryland record with 198 blocked shots while scoring 1,407 points and ranked seventh in rebounds upon graduation before being named to the 2014 ACC Legends Class.