AUBURN, AL - Auburn women's basketball coach Nell Fortner announced the hiring of Carla McGhee as an assistant coach on Tuesday. McGhee, who previously served as an assistant coach at Auburn from 2004-06, returns to the Plains after a two-year stint as an assistant at South Carolina.
"It is great to have Carla back in Auburn," said Fortner. "She was here our first two years on the job in Auburn and did a tremendous job helping us recruit the class that won the SEC Championship in 2009. Hopefully she can help us do the same thing again. She has a great personality and great experience in the SEC, and we are excited about what she brings to the team."
At South Carolina, McGhee, a native of Peoria, Ill., helped the Gamecocks put together a pair of recruiting classes ranked in the top 15 in the nation, including the 2009 class that ranked seventh. Among the signees was Kelsey Bone, who McGhee helped mold into a 2010 All-SEC Second Team selection and AP SEC Newcomer of the Year.
Before going to South Carolina, she spent two years as the WNBA's director of player personnel and as a consultant/ambassador with the WNBA's Atlanta Dream during its inaugural 2008 season.
"When Carla left Auburn, she spent two years in the WNBA and got great knowledge of the league," said Fortner. "That is something she can really impart on our players because the kind of players we recruit and have at Auburn have the goals of playing in the WNBA and overseas. She has all of that experience, along with being an Olympian, so she is a very well-rounded coach and person of experience in women's basketball."
Prior to her stint in the WNBA, McGhee spent two seasons at Auburn as a member of Fortner's first staff on the Plains. During that time, she worked with post players and helped recruit the class of DeWanna Bonner, Whitney Boddie, KeKe Carrier and Sherell Hobbs that went on to win the 2009 SEC championship.
"I am excited, it is always great to come back and work with great people that you know," said McGhee. "The passion and commitment here is going to resonate within me and I cannot wait to get started. It feels like I am back home. This has been a great homecoming and it is great to be back in the Auburn Family."
After a four-year absence from Auburn, McGhee was pleasantly surprised to see the completed Auburn Arena. After hearing about the plans during her time at Auburn before, she said she was "blown away" by the new facility.
"I was in total awe, I had to pinch myself because I was just blown away by the new Arena," said McGhee. "To know that you can come in and be a part of something new and something so big, it is a very surreal feeling. Auburn has shown a huge commitment to men's and women's basketball and the facilities are outstanding."
McGhee's first stint as a college coach came during the 2003-04 season at Temple where she helped the Owls to a 21-10 record, along with an Atlantic 10 Tournament title and a NCAA Tournament appearance.
Following a four-year career at Tennessee, during which the Lady Vols collected national championships in 1987 and 1989, McGhee played professionally for teams in Germany, France, Turkey, South Korea, Spain, Italy and Greece for six years. With the start of professional leagues in the United States, she earned a spot on the Atlanta Glory of the ABL where she played from 1996 to 1998. From there, she went on to spend five years with the WNBA's Orlando Miracle.
McGhee's playing experience includes a lengthy stint in the USA Basketball organization, beginning with the 1987 Sports Festival. She went on to participate in the 1993 World Qualifying, 1994 World Championship and Goodwill Games, the 1995 Pan American Games and the 1996 Olympics.
McGhee earned her bachelor's degree in sport management from Tennessee in 1990. She resides in Auburn with her 12-year-old son Chancellor.
The McGhee File
Auburn, assistant coach, 2004-06, 2010-present
South Carolina, assistant coach, 2008-2010
Temple, assistant coach, 2003-04
Atlanta Dream, WNBA, consultant/ambassador, 2008
WNBA, director of player personnel, 2006-07
Orlando Miracle, WNBA, 1999-2003
Atlanta Glory, ABL, 1996-98
USA Basketball, 1987-96
• Olympic Gold Medal, 1996
• Pan American Games, 1995
• Goodwill Games, 1994
• World Championship, 1994
• World Qualifying Team, 1993
• Sports Festival, 1987
Various international teams, 1990-96
• Played in Germany, France, Turkey, South Korea, Spain, Italy and Greece
University of Tennessee, 1986-90
• National championship, 1987, 1989
Bachelor of science in sport management, Tennessee, 1990