Joanne P. McCallie, the Duke women's basketball coach, is taking a medical leave of absence, the school announced in a statement Monday morning.
She'll be out for about two months to "address a correctable kidney-related ailment, which was originally diagnosed in November of 2017. She will start a short term treatment program soon," according to the statement.
After coaching through the season while managing the ailment, McCallie will now begin treatment at one of the slower times on the college basketball calendar. She expects to return in July, when the players will have returned to campus for the offseason program while attending classes during the second summer school session.
During her leave of absence, McCallie will be able to stay in communication with her staff — associate head coach Hernando Planells and assistant coaches Rene Haynes and Sam Miller. But McCallie won't be traveling on recruiting trips. Because of that, Duke has received permission from the NCAA for special assistant Jim Corrigan to add off-campus recruiting to his duties during McCallie's absence.
“To be sure, we wish Joanne the absolute best as she continues to manage this medical situation,” Duke athletics director Kevin White said in a statement. “Joanne’s health and long-term well-being is by far the most important matter at hand, and her highly capable staff will undoubtedly do great work while she recovers fully. Certainly, we look forward to Joanne’s imminent return to lead Duke women’s basketball well into the future.”
In addition to this kidney ailment, McCallie has been dealing with melanoma since she was diagnosed in 2007. She had a spot removed from her forehead that year. Since then, through a process called mole-mapping, Dr. John Murray of Duke dermatology monitors growth of other spots on her body. She's had several procedures to remove spots during the last 11 years.
McCallie led Duke to a 24-9 record with a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament this past season. In 11 seasons at Duke, her record is 297-80 with 10 NCAA Tournament appearances. Her teams made the Elite Eight four times and have won three ACC championships.
McCallie's career record, including stints coaching at Maine and Michigan State, is 613-228.