Carolyn Peck is a trailblazer in women's athletics.

Carolyn Peck

Carolyn Arlene Peck was born in Jefferson City in 1966. Standing 6' 4" tall, she is not the tallest member of her family. Yet, she is one of the most-accomplished.

As a senior in high school, Carolyn was named Tennessee's Miss Basketball after averaging 35 points and 13.2 rebounds per game. She played college basketball at Vanderbilt University from 1985 to 1988, averaging 10.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. She also blocked 180 shots, to date a Vanderbilt women's basketball career record. Carolyn graduated from Vanderbilt with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications in 1988.

Passing up an opportunity to play professional basketball in Spain, Carolyn went to work as a marketing consultant at a Nashville television station. She returned to basketball in 1991, quitting her corporate job to play professionally in Italy for three weeks. This was followed by two years' playing for Japan's Nippondenso Corporation. During her second year in Japan, Carolyn's team won the league championship.

Returning to the U. S., Carolyn began her coaching career as an assistant to Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt. After two championship seasons at UT, Carolyn became an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky. A year later, Carolyn became assistant coach at Purdue, where she eventually rose to head coach. In her second and last year as Purdue's head Coach, Carolyn led the team to the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. In 1999, she was named Women's Basketball Coach of the Year by the Associated Press and became the first woman and first African American to win the Winged Foot Award (honors the best coach in college basketball) from the New York Athletic Club. To date, Peck is the only African American to coach a women's Division I basketball championship team. The title is also the only one in women's college basketball by a member of the Big Ten Conference.

Carolyn left Purdue to coach the Women's National Basketball Association's Orlando Miracle team. Two years later, she returned to college coaching at the University of Florida. After five years, Carolyn was fired following a disastrous 2006-07 season.

It didn't take long for Carolyn to get back into sports and draw on her communications background. She is now a basketball analyst for ESPN.