Kara Cassidy is entering her fifth season as an assistant coach with the Penn women's basketball program in 2013-14. Cassidy, who also serves as the program's recruiting coordinator, is a former Quinnipiac University standout and joined the Quakers after five seasons as an assistant coach with her alma mater.
In her four seasons in West Philadelphia, the Quakers have produced the largest single-season turnaround in program history, recorded the best 10-game start in school history, posted Penn's second-highest win total of all-time and won the program's first two postseason games.
Cassidy has worked primarily with Penn's guards. In 2009-10, she helped guide senior point guard Sarah Bucar to the first All-Ivy and All-Big 5 honors of her career. In each of the next two seasons, she mentored Alyssa Baron, who won two Ivy League scoring titles and became the first freshman in Ivy history to lead the league in scoring. In 2010-11, Baron won Ivy League and Big 5 Rookie of the Year honors - just the second Quaker in program history to earn either award - and was a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy Rookie team in addition to her All-Ivy honorable mention selection.
Last season, Cassidy helped guide Keiera Ray to Big 5 Rookie of the Year honors and honorable mention All-Ivy status, while Baron was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection - the first time two Penn guards were named all-league in the same season in 10 years.
As an assistant at her alma mater in 2008-09, Quinnipiac finished third in the Northeast Conference standings as the Bobcats tallied 18 wins. During her fourth season with the Bobcats in 2007-08, the team finished with a 25-6 record and a berth in the WNIT. Those 25 wins were a Division I program record as the Bobcats secured the 2007-08 NEC regular season championship.
The former Bobcat point guard was a four-year letter winner at Quinnipiac from 1999–2003 and a two-year team captain. At the time of her graduation, she held the program's top two Division I single-season marks for assists (156) and ranked third in three-point percentage (.397). She is the program’s Division I leader with 418 career assists and is sixth all-time in steals with 133.
Cassidy graduated from Quinnipiac in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Before returning to the university, she served as a district manager of ADP, a data processing company in Fort Washington, Pa. In addition to her role at ADP, Cassidy was head coach of the St. Charles Borromeo School (Drexel Hill, Pa.) CYO varsity girls basketball team from 2003–05.