Legendary Coach. Gender Equity Advocate. Leadership Expert.

For over five decades, Kathy has been teaching, training, inspiring, and impacting young girls and women on and off the basketball court. Guided by her “Act As If” philosophy, Kathy has earned the distinction as the winningest coach of any sport – men’s or women’s – in the history of the Ivy League and she has empowered generations of women to lead.


Kathy is on a mission to continue to empower the next generation of leaders

With her one-of-a-kind sense of humor, her highly personal communication style, and informed by a lifetime of experience fighting for gender equity, Kathy authentically connects with and inspires those seeking to authentically lead and make the world a more equitable place.






Nonprofit Leadership

Legendary Coach & Gender Equity Advocate

Kathy Delaney-Smith is the winningest coach of any sport – men’s or women’s – in the history of the Ivy League. For the past five decades, her mission and life’s work has been teaching, training, inspiring, and empowering young women.

The 2021-22 season marked Kathy’s 40th and final season as the Head Coach of Harvard Women’s Basketball. Kathy holds one of the longest coaching tenures in the history of Division-I Women’s Basketball, amassing a 630-434 overall record, with a 367-167 record in Ivy League play. Her record includes 12 20-win seasons, 11 Ivy titles, a .500 record or better in 31 of the last 32 campaigns and 15 postseason appearances.

Photo Credit: Harvard Athletics

Photo Credit: Harvard Athletics

Photo Credit: Harvard Athletics

Photo Credit: Harvard Athletics

Kathy came to Harvard in 1982 after compiling an incredible 204-31 record at Westwood (Mass.) High School, with an unparalleled six undefeated regular seasons and one Massachusetts state title, in addition to national-record, 96 straight wins in the regular season. 

Kathy graduated from Bridgewater State, where she competed as a synchronized swimmer. Prior to Bridgewater, she earned the distinction of being the first Massachusetts high school girl’s basketball player to score 1,000 points all while playing for her mother, the late Peg Delaney, at Sacred Heart of Newton.

In recognition of her contributions to the game, Kathy was part of the inaugural class to be inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in October 2003. She was also bestowed with the prestigious Carol Eckman Award in 2000 by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

Among her civic involvements is her association with the American Cancer Society, particularly its annual “Relay for Life.” Herself a cancer survivor, Kathy has dedicated much time to spreading the word of early detection and treatment. In 2007, she received the Gildna Radner Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated determination and hope in the face of cancer. 

Additionally, Kathy serves on the Board of Directors for the Shooting Touch, a global sport-for-development organization whose mission is to use the mobilizing power of basketball to bridge health and opportunity gaps for youth and women facing racial, gender, and economic inequalities.

Kathy resides in Newton, Massachusetts and is always up for a game of tennis or a glass of wine with friends. She is also always ready for a visit from her beloved son, Jared, who lives in NYC.

Photo Credit: Harvard Athletics

Photo Credit: Harvard Athletics

Interested in having Kathy speak to & empower your organization?

Kathy’s past speaking engagements range from large, global corporations to nonprofits to academic settings. She is an authentic, humorous, and highly engaging leader who can speak to a range of issues including leadership, resilience, mindfulness, gender equity, and empowering teams.


Photo Credit: Harvard Athletics

Photo Credit: Harvard Athletics

Interested in an early copy of Kathy’s upcoming book?

We can’t yet reveal exactly what the book will be, but we do know that, in typical Kathy fashion, it’s NOT going to be a book just about her. And it’s NOT going to be a book just about basketball. Or leadership. Or empowerment. Or personal development. Instead, the book will be all these things and more, wrapped together in an unconditional, humorous, and impactful way that is pure Kathy. 

Inquire below to sign up for updates and an advance e-copy of Kathy’s upcoming book about her life lessons, leadership philosophies, and her unconventional approach to fighting for gender equity.

Contact Kathy

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