Sara Lee
Sara Lee
Title: Associate Director of Athletics
Phone: 740-587-6290
Year: 31st Year

In 2019-20, Sara Lee enters her 31st season as Denison's head women's basketball coach and her eighth year as the department's Associate Athletic Director.

One of the winningest coaches in Division III women's basketball history and a champion for equity, diversity, and inclusion, Lee boasts a career record of 472-318 in 30 seasons leading the Big Red.  Entering the 2018-29 season, Lee ranked 25th in victories among active Division III coaches and 42nd in all-time wins in Division III. 

Under Lee, Denison has won four NCAC regular-season championships and seven NCAC Tournament titles. In 2015-16, the Big Red won the North Coast Athletic Conference championship and finished with a 23-5 record, advancing to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the sixth time in program history.  Jordan Holmes was named to the WBCA and All-American team after leading the nation in blocked shots for the third-straight season. Holmes averaged 15.9 points per game and 17.8 rebounds per game, which was the second-best per game average in Division III.  Holmes left Denison in 2017 as the NCAA Division III career leader in rebounding and blocked shots.

In 2010-11, the Big Red completed the conference's first undefeated regular season at 25-0 and went on to capture the NCAC Tournament title for the sixth time in seven years.  Led by NCAC Player of the Year, Shaina Kaiser, Denison finished the year 28-0, marking the best season in program history.

She is a five-time NCAC Coach of the Year (1990-91, 1997-98, 2006-07, 2010-11 and 2015-16).

In addition to her basketball coaching duties, Lee spent 18 seasons as the head volleyball coach at Denison. She stepped down prior to the 2007 season after recording 395 career victories. She is the program's all-time leader in wins and holds a .618 career winning percentage as the head volleyball coach. The team's 31 victories in 1993 set a new school record that still stands.

In 1989, Lee came to Denison from Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, where she was the head coach of women's volleyball, women's basketball and softball. While at Lake Erie, she also served as the coordinator of women's athletics, an instructor of physical education, a residence hall director, and an academic advisor.

A native of Moorhead, Minn., Lee enrolled at Minnesota State Moorhead after graduating from high school in 1982. She earned her B.S. in physical education from Minnesota State Moorhead in 1986. Lee went on to earn an M.A. in athletic administration from Kent State in 1987.

While at Minnesota State Moorhead, Lee's athletic career was highlighted by several outstanding accomplishments. She was a four-year letter winner in each of three sports: volleyball, women's basketball and softball. In volleyball, Lee earned all-conference and all-district recognition her junior and senior years and was twice named as her team's most valuable player. Her senior year, Lee served as a basketball captain and she was an all-district selection in softball.

In 1995, Lee was inducted into the Minnesota State Moorhead Athletic Hall of Fame for her distinguished accomplishments and career both on and off the playing field.

Lee's honors as an undergraduate include the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Scholarship which is awarded annually by NAIA athletic directors. Lee was also honored as the recipient of the Minnesota State Moorhead Student-Athlete Award her senior year. At Kent State, Lee was selected for a graduate assistantship in physical education.

In addition to her coaching and administrative duties, Lee holds the title of Professor at Denison University.