Women’s Basketball: Kate Popovec named head coach of Bradley women’s basketball


Photo from WNUR Sports

Kate Popovec talks to Lindsey Pulliam on the sideline.

Gabriela Carroll, Sports Editor

Women’s Basketball

Kate Popovec (Communication ’12, School of Professional Studies ’14), Northwestern women’s basketball associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, will be the next head coach of Bradley University’s women’s basketball team, Bradley announced Wednesday.

“Kate has been successful at every turn, and her enthusiasm and energy are infectious,” Bradley’s Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Chris Reynolds said in a news release. “She is a proven winner and I am confident in her ability to lead our student-athletes to excellence in competition, the classroom and the community.”

Popovec joined NU’s coaching staff as an assistant coach in 2017 after playing for the Cats for her junior and senior seasons from 2011 to 2013. She also served as the director of player development from 2014 to 2016 and was named associate head coach for the 2021-22 season.

While at NU, Popovec served as defensive coordinator. In 2018-19, her first season in the role, the Cats posted the best scoring defense in the conference, holding opponents to just 60.9 points per game. She also worked with senior guard Veronica Burton, helping Burton become the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons.

Under Popovec’s leadership as recruitment coordinator, NU’s class of 2025 ranked 10th in the nation, bringing in freshmen Hailey Weaver, Jillian Brown, Mel Daley, Caileigh Walsh and Mercy Ademusayo.

Popovec takes over a Bradley program that went 4-24 in the 2021-22 season, posting a 1-17 record in conference play in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @gablcarroll

Related Stories:

Women’s Basketball: The 8 steps NU takes to recruit the best talent — and how it’s different from everyone else