Sarah Lee takes new role at Denison

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Photo by Jace Delgado, JRD photography

After 503 wins in women’s basketball and 386 more in volleyball, Sarah Lee is stepping away from the sidelines and into a new role at Denison University.

Denison’s Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Nan Carney-DeBord announced that Lee had been promoted to Senior Associate Director of Athletics, Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Senior Woman Administrator for the University’s athletics. Concurrent with the announcement, Lee said that she will step down as coach of the Big Red’s women’s basketball team.

“The past 33 years coaching here have been extremely rewarding,” said Lee in the University’s press release. “During this time, I have had the privilege of working with many outstanding student-athletes and coaches. I will continue to value and nurture these relationships throughout my lifetime. I am excited for this new challenge and the opportunity to continue to work with all students, staff and the Denison community. “

Lee came to Denison from Lake Erie College where she had been the head coach for women’s basketball and volleyball and assumed the same roles for the Big Red. After an up-and-down first decade, Lee established Denison as a consistent winner in the NCAC. The Big Red flipped a 1-23 record in 1996-1997 to a 17-9 mark in 1997-98 and posted 15 winning seasons in a row.

Lee’s best season came in 2010-11 when the Big Red went 28-0 and entered the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 10 in the country, before losing to Washington U. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Big Red won the NCAC regular season title four times, the last time in 2015-16, and won the NCAC Tournament seven times. Lee was named NCAC Coach of the Year six times, most recently in 2018-19. She won her 500th game in February when Denison defeated Wooster, 81-52.

Lee also racked up wins with the Big Red’s volleyball program. She won 384 games in 19 seasons and is the program’s all-time winngest coach.

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