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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Women’s BBall coach Metcalf-Filzen announces retirement

< 13 seasons at the helm of the Carleton College women’s basketball program, Tammy Metcalf-Filzen announced she is retiring from her position as head women’s basketball coach and associate professor of physical education, athletics and recreation, effective June 30, the end of the current academic year.

The winningest coach in program history, she is stepping aside to devote more time and energy to her family. This past Saturday, she concluded her 15th season as a head coach and 13th at Carleton. Metcalf-Filzen owns a 252-148 career coaching ledger, including a 226-122 mark at Carleton.

The Knights won three consecutive regular-season Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) titles under Metcalf-Filzen’s guidance from 2002-05, including the school’s first outright crown in 2004-05. Carleton won five MIAC Playoff titles, including four consecutive from 2001-04 and another in 2007-08, coinciding with the program’s five NCAA Tournament appearances. Metcalf-Filzen was the first coach in MIAC history, regardless of sport, to capture four straight post-season conference tournament titles.

“Given the nature of a prestigious institution like Carleton, the time and energy demands associated with coaching and recruiting present a significant challenge,” said Metcalf-Filzen. “It is especially challenging to balance those responsibilities with the needs of my large family, whom I cherish. I have loved coaching but have always known that if my family ever started to take a back seat to my career, it would be time to step away. That time has come.

“I am retiring from coaching and teaching with gratitude to Carleton for the opportunity to work with many outstanding faculty and staff over the years. More important, I so appreciate and admire the students and student-athletes with whom I have had the privilege to work. The joy and passion they have shared in the classroom and on the court has been an example to me, my children, and many others over the years.

“I leave Carleton with great confidence that my successor will embrace the challenges and joys of coaching and teaching as I have.”

A three-time MIAC and region coach of the year, Metcalf-Filzen came to Carleton in 1992 as an assistant and assumed head-coaching duties on an interim basis for the 1997-98 season before taking the position permanently, eventually establishing the Knights’ program as one of the elite in all of NCAA Division III.

Under her watch Carleton was ranked in the nation’s top 20 and averaged more than 20 wins over a nine-year span from 2000-09. She led Carleton to a 187-86 record since 2000 and her 226 wins are the most by any Knights’ women’s basketball coach. During her time at Carleton, Metcalf-Filzen has guided the Knights to a .649 winning percentage, the best in school history. Prior to her arrival, the previous 24 seasons produced an overall program winning percentage of .310. Earlier this season, she recorded her 250th career victory as a head coach when the Knights beat Macalester College, 60-48.

The Knights achieved double-digit win totals in Metcalf-Filzen’s first 12 seasons, a feat accomplished only twice in the 24 seasons prior to her arrival.

The zenith of Metcalf-Filzen’s tenure came in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, when she was named the MIAC’s coach of the year and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s (WBCA) region coach of the year. In both seasons, the Knights posted a school-record 25 wins, advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s second round, and were nationally ranked for the entire year. The 2002-03 squad won its first 23 games of the season and concluded the regular season ranked No. 6 by and No. 8 by the WBCA. Carleton was 39-5 in MIAC play during the two-year string. Metcalf-Filzen was previously named 2000-01 MIAC Coach of the Year and WBCA district coach of the year.

In addition to coaching, Metcalf-Filzen taught a variety of activities in the area of fitness, outdoor education, as well as coaching principles and methods courses. During her tenure she served as senior woman administrator, worked on the regional basketball committee and did committee service as a member of the Carleton faculty.

After attending Northfield High School, where she led the Raiders to a second-place finish in the 1979 state tournament, Metcalf-Filzen enrolled at St. Olaf College, graduating in 1983. She later earned her M.S. from the University of Minnesota in 1987. She won four varsity letters as a point guard for the Oles, twice earned All-MIAC honors, led the NCAA Division III in free-throw percentage in 1982-83, and was inducted into the St. Olaf Hall of Fame in 1999.  Metcalf-Filzen joined the Northfield Hall of Fame in 1992 and recently received the Women of Distinction Honor for Women Preparing Women from the Girl Scout Council of Cannon Valley.
Metcalf-Filzen lives in Northfield with her husband, Dave, and their seven children, Zachary, Taylor, Rikki, Kyle, Jessie, Kaycee and Shay.

“Today marks the end of a fantastic era in Carleton athletic history. Tammy Metcalf-Filzen has been an integral part of the Carleton athletic program since the fall of 1992,” said Carleton Athletic Director Leon Lunder. “Despite her success on the court, it was her teaching of life skills, through sport, that made her such an exceptional professional.

“We thank Tammy for sharing her amazing gifts with us. She deserves only the best, and her family deserves her time.”

“We are saddened by, but supportive of, Tammy’s decision and will immediately engage in a national search to find a replacement. We will be seeking a high-energy person, committed to recruiting to a highly selective national liberal arts college, passionate about teaching on the basketball court and in the classroom, while competing in one of the best NCAA Division III conferences in the country. Tammy’s successor will need to continue with a strong emphasis on the development of the total student-athlete, athletically, academically while maintaining a program that is fully vested in the life of the College.”

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