Associate Head Coach
Kelly Komara enters her fourth season on the Vanderbilt women’s basketball staff. Komara, a college teammate of head coach Stephanie White, joined White’s staff in June of 2016 from her alma mater, Purdue University where she worked with the guards.
Komara, who works with Vanderbilt’s guard’s, helped freshman guard Chelsie Hall to a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team. Hall averaged a team-best 11.9 points per game and started each game during her rookie season. Komara also aided Brinae Alexander to the same list during her freshman campaign.
Leading a young crew of guards in 2016-17, the Commodore guards grew throughout the season, averaging 44.2 ppg as a unit, accounting for nearly 65 percent of Vanderbilt’s scoring. Upperclassmen Rachel Bell led the unit with a team-best 11.3 ppg but was helped by Vanderbilt’s younger guards, led by Erin Whalen who averaged 9.1 ppg.
A standout player at Purdue from 1998-2002, Komara and White were teammates on the 1999 Purdue team that captured the national championship. Purdue was coached that season by Carolyn Peck, who is now an associate coach on White’s staff at Vanderbilt.
“It’s such an honor for me to bring to Kelly into the Vanderbilt community,” said White upon Komara’s hiring. “Kelly’s love and passion for the game and helping young people reach their potential is infectious. We have a long history together and one of the things I’ve always admired is her incredible work ethic and drive to be the best. She’s a terrific addition to our staff and we look forward to getting to work.”
Prior to Purdue, Komara had a two-year stint as an assistant coach at the University of Albany. While there, her duties included scheduling the team’s games, serving as the team’s strength, conditioning and nutrition liaison, working on scouting reports and assisting with recruiting and game preparation.
Komara has also worked at Valparaiso, Auburn and Northwestern in a variety of roles.
In 2002, she was drafted in the WNBA third round by the Indiana Fever and played professionally for the Grand Rapids Blizzards in the National Women’s Basketball League.
Komara is one of seven players in Purdue history to have at least 1,000 points, 400 assists and 200 steals in their career. She was the most outstanding player for the 2001 NCAA Mideast Regional and earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2002. A three-time All-Big Ten honoree, Komara was a first-team selection in 2002 and earned honorable mention recognition as a sophomore and junior. She was also granted the prestigious Mackey Award and Varsity Walk Award as a senior by the Purdue administration.
Komara is Purdue’s all-time leader in single-season steals with 120 steals (in 2002) — the third-most in Big Ten Conference history. She ranks No. 18 on Purdue’s all-time scoring list (1,266 career points), No. 5 in career steals (297) and No. 11 in career assists (402).
Komara earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Purdue University in 2002. She went on to receive her master’s degree in higher education and sports management from Auburn in 2006.
A native of Schererville, Ind., and standout at Lake Central High, Komara was named Indiana’s Miss Basketball after averaging 21.5 points per game as a senior.
Komara Quick Hits
Won 1999 NCAA National Championship at Purdue
2002 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
Three-time All-Big Ten selection
Purdue’s single-season leader in steals with 1230 steals in 2002
Indiana’s Miss Basketball (1997)
Associate Head Coach, Vanderbilt, (current)
Assistant, Vanderbilt, (2016-2018)
Assistant, Purdue (2014-2016)
Assistant, Albany (2012-14)
Assistant, Valparaiso (2010-12)
Video Coordinator, Auburn (2006-10)
Assistant, Northwestern (2006-07)
Graduate Assistant, Auburn (2004-06)