Karen Swanson Haan Named as New Westlake Lady Demon Basketball Coach

Former Westlake High basketball standout Karen Swanson Haan (‘99) has been recommended to be the next Head Girls Basketball Coach for the very successful Lady Demon basketball program pending Board of Education approval.

The opening was created when long time coach Art Daniels announced his retirement from coaching after this past season.

Karen is a 1999 graduate of Westlake and was one of the best female athletes to ever compete for the Demons.  She was a three sport athlete for Westlake High School competing in basketball, volleyball and softball. She earned four varsity letters in basketball and was named as the SWC MVP in her junior season. She was honored for her athletic achievements by being inducted into the Westlake High School Hall of Fame in 2017.

After graduating from Westlake, Swanson-Haan walked on to the storied basketball program at the University Of Notre Dame.  She played four years for the Fighting Irish and was a member of the 2001 NCAA National Championship team. Academically at Notre Dame, she was an Honors List member and graduated Cum Laude. (http://www.und.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/020503aaa.html)

After graduating from Notre Dame with a Bachelors of Business Management, Karen attended the Cleveland-Marshall School of Law earning her J.D. and graduated 4th in her class.  In 2007, she took a position as an Associate Attorney at Baker Hostetler, LLP. In 2015, she accepted a position as an Assistant United States Attorney. From 2008, Karen has also been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cleveland State University and since 2015, an adjunct professor for Ursuline College.

This past season, Coach Swanson Haan was the Head Junior Varsity Coach/ Assistant Varsity Coach for the state runner-up team from Gilmour Academy.  “I am excited about the opportunity to return to my alma mater, a place that shaped me and helped me grow, not only to coach but to have a positive impact on players’ lives.  I believe that the Demon fans will love our style of play and that my passion for the game of basketball, for my players, for the entire program from K-12, and my love of the Green and White will show through on a daily basis.  I also have some unfinished business from my playing days as our teams fell short of winning an SWC Championship. It is my goal to not only put those numbers on our banner in the gym but to put up banners for district, regional and state titles.  I will work tirelessly to make Westlake one of the premier girls’ basketball programs in the state.”

“Having Coach Swanson Haan, a WHS Hall of Famer, return to her alma mater is such a great story, but more important was her vision of what this girls’ basketball program can be and where she plans to take it.  Her passion for transforming our female student-athletes into the leaders of tomorrow is what really drew us to her. Her life experiences are going to be invaluable to our players as she shares her knowledge of basketball and of life.  We are so excited to get a person of her caliber to be a role model, not only to our basketball team but to all of our female students”, said Director of Athletics, Tony Cipollone.

There will be a “Meet the Coach Night” announced in the near future, please monitor the www.westlakeathletics.org website and the Official Twitter Account of Demon Athletics @demonathletics for details!

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