Owens enters her 20th year on the Notre Dame women’s basketball coaching staff, and her 11th as associate head coach for the Fighting Irish. Coach Carol has won two national titles, with the first coming in 2001, followed by the second in 2018. In addition, Notre Dame has appeared in seven NCAA title games and have reached the Final Four nine times (1997, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019) – which ranks fifth most of any school.
Owens was named the 2019 WBCA Division I Assistant Coach of the Year along with being inducted into the inaugural STEP UP Assistant Coach Hall of Fame. In 2014, she was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the A Step Up Assistant Coach of the Year Award.
Owens players have earned a combined 34 All-America honors during their college careers. Six of her post protegees went on be drafted into the WNBA – while three went on to claim WNBA titles.
Owens spent five seasons (2005-10) as head coach at her alma mater, Northern Illinois University. Owens also appeared on the international coaching scene through her work with USA Basketball. In 2008 and 2009, she served as head coach of the United States U18 and U19 teams, guiding those squads to gold medals, and the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championships in Thailand. In 2008, Owens was named USA Basketball’s Developmental Coach of the Year, and prior to that, she spent two summers (2006-07) as an assistant coach for Team USA, collecting two more gold medals.
In 2008, she was selected to serve on the Board of Directors for both the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), serving on the latter body’s Executive Committee as the WBCA secretary before stepping down in 2011. Subsequently, in September 2012, Owens was chosen as BCA president for the 2012-13 academic year.
Owens originally came to Notre Dame in 1995 following two seasons as an assistant at Michigan, where she began her coaching career after enjoying a three-year professional playing stint in Japan, Spain and Italy.
As a standout player at Northern Illinois from 1985-90 Owens was a two-time Kodak Coaches’ All-District IV Team selection. In 1995, Owens was inducted into the Northern Illinois University Athletic Hall of Fame and followed up that honor with her induction into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Illinois High School Hall of Fame in 2014.