Kilburn-Steveskey announces resignation after 13 seasons with Hofstra
For over a decade, the Hofstra women’s basketball team has been led under the direction of head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey, but now they are in search of new leadership. After 13 seasons with the Pride, Kilburn-Steveskey announced her resignation on Tuesday, March 26, after an 11-22 season including a 3-15 Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA) play record.
“I am thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to lead the Hofstra women’s basketball program over the last 13 years,” Kilburn-Steveskey said. “I’m very proud of the accomplishments achieved and the student-athletes that have developed as athletes as well as outstanding people within the program.”
Kilburn-Steveskey’s basketball career dates back to her days at North Carolina State University, where she was led by Hall of Fame coach Sandra Kay Yow. From 1986-1990, the Wolfpack went 83-37 including an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship. Kilburn-Steveskey served as team captain in 1990, when the Wolfpack reached the NCAA Sweet 16 and saw an Associated Press ranking of No. 11.
Kilburn-Steveskey jumped right into coaching after college, where she served as head girls’ volleyball coach, assistant girls’ varsity basketball coach and head junior varsity girls’ basketball coach at Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Georgia from 1992-1996. She then accepted a head coaching position at Wheeler High School in Marietta, Georgia from 1996-2002. At Wheeler, Kilburn-Steveskey posted a 143-38 record including the 1998 Class AAAA state Championship. She also won numerous awards as coach including the 1998 Georgia AAAA Coach of the Year.
After yet another successful season in 2002, Kilburn-Steveskey left Wheeler to accept an assistant coach position at James Madison University (JMU) and continued to serve in that role until 2006. At JMU, Kilburn-Steveskey coordinated recruiting and scheduling, as well as assisting on the court. In her final two seasons with the Dukes, they won 42 games, which was the most in back-to-back years since the 1994-95 season.
On May 16, 2006 Krista Kilburn-Steveskey was announced as the 12th head coach in Hofstra women’s basketball history. Kilburn-Steveskey opened her career at Hofstra with one of the greatest seasons in program history. The Pride finished with a 26-8 mark including wins over teams from the Big 10, Big East and Southeastern Conference (SEC). Hofstra also had two of the longest winning streaks in school history with 10 and the longest home win streak with 11. Hofstra fell in the quarterfinals of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) to Western Kentucky University.
Hofstra reached the WNIT five times, including two quarterfinal appearances, under Kilburn-Steveskey. In her 13 years, she finished with an overall record of 213-198 and holds the title as the winningest coach in program history. Her teams averaged 17 wins per season and she’s posted four 20-win seasons in her tenure.
Throughout her time with the Pride, Kilburn-Steveskey’s teams have been no strangers to upsets, as they have defeated numerous top teams.In only her fourth game of her first season with Hofstra, the Pride upset the then-ranked No. 17 Michigan State University 57-53 for the first win against a ranked opponent in school history.
“I just want to congratulate Hofstra. I thought they played an excellent basketball game,” Michigan State head coach Joanne McCallie said. “They played beautiful. The bottom line is [Hofstra was] a more cohesive unit; they were the better team.”
The same season, Hofstra defeated SEC member University of South Carolina 64-59 in the third round of the WNIT.
During the 2014-15 season, after losing the first matchup in overtime, Kilburn-Steveskey’s Pride defeated then ranked No. 23 JMU on the road 63-62 for the program’s second win over a ranked opponent. Hofstra met JMU in the CAA Championship game but fell to the Dukes 62-56.
Perhaps the greatest upset for Kilburn-Steveskey came in her final season with Hofstra – and it also marks her last win with the Pride. Coming off a record performance for the Pride the night before against No. 8 Elon in the first round of the CAA tournament, Hofstra was set to face No. 1 JMU in the Quarterfinals.
After a slow start for the Pride, they found themselves down 26-16 to JMU at the half, only scoring eight points in each quarter. The Pride caught fire with a 20-2 run to open the third quarter which included 17 straight unanswered points for Hofstra. After a closely contested final quarter and clutch free-throw shooting for the Pride, Hofstra would be the first team in the 36 years of the women’s CAA tournament to knock off the No. 1 seed in the quarterfinals.
Although her final seasons with the Pride did not live up to the expectations of the program, Kilburn-Steveskey’s legacy with Hofstra will be forever remembered. As one of the greater coaching minds in Pride history, Kilburn-Steveskey teams could find ways to rally for wins – no matter the obstacles.
Photo courtesy of Hofstra Athletics