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Coach McCallie On Her Very Bad Year

Anyone would agree that she had a very difficult year. With the right steps, she could make things much better.

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Jan 28, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Joanne McCallie gestures on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first half at the Petersen Events Center.
Jan 28, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Joanne McCallie gestures on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first half at the Petersen Events Center.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Last season was really tough for Duke women's basketball and coach Joanne P. McCallie.

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Aside from her spring evaluation, McCallie had seven players injured and had surgery herself during the season which made it hard for her to move her neck. Any fair-minded person would agree that that can't have been easy.

And between the on-court struggles, the evaluation and some high profile transfers, long-simmering tensions in the fan base re-emerged.

There were a lot of fans who were unhappy with McCallie from the beginning and for better or worse, some never got over it.

Some of this stemmed from how former A.D. Joe Alleva handled her predecessor Gail Goestenkors and her departure. There was a lot of bitterness about it which, fairly or unfairly, focused on McCallie.

So it's unfortunate that in this article she comes off as a bit petulant, complaining about "weak-kneed"...the "fair-weather nature of people, the people who want to be negative and attack and tear down."

We can understand why she'd be irritated, but expressing it publicly is not smart.

Her best bet at this point would be to reach out to those people, to find a way to bring them back into the fold or at least soothe them. The general atmosphere at the end of the season was pretty poisonous and not at all what most Duke programs see. Even at its worst, football didn't get like that.

For McCallie, the right thing - the only thing now, and something certainly within her power - is to pull people back together.

Obviously the best way to do that is to win. The rest of it relies on communicating and winning people over.

In short, a charm offensive is in order.