Played under Coach Burt at UNC Wilmington
Cherie Lea was named director of basketball operations in July, 2013. Lea, who played under Duquesne head coach Dan Burt when he was an assistant at UNC Wilmington, comes to the Bluff after a successful career playing overseas and serving as head coach for Bartlett Yancey High School.
As a player at UNC Wilmington, Lea was a two-time Colonial Athletic Association First-Team All-Conference selection and was voted CAA Preseason Player of the Year her senior season. As team captain for the Seahawks her junior and senior seasons, leading UNCW to a 37-19 record in those two years. Additionally, Lea was named UNCW Most Outstanding Player twice.
A model student-athlete, Lea was the CAA's Scholar Athlete of the Year and was named First-Team All-Academic in 2003 and 2004. She won the Dean Ehlers Award in 2004 which recognizes the student-athlete who embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship, in conjunction with their academic and athletic achievements. Lea was also a member of UNCW's Dean's List and the I-AAA Athletic Director's Association Scholar-Athlete Team. She was a two-time Minority Student-Athlete of the Year, a two-time Golden Seahawk recipient and won the Minority Leadership Award.
After graduating with a degree in mathematics, Lea played professionally for five years in Luxembourg and Holland. While overseas, Lea's teams won two Dutch 1st Division Championships. Individually, Lea was a two-time Dutch League MVP, played in four All-Star Games - winning MVP in 2007 and was a three-time All-Star Team selection.
Following her pro basketball career, Lea was a Program and Facility Supervisor for Danville Parks and Recreation in Danville, Va. before becoming a math teacher at Reidsville High School in Reidsville, N.C. She moved on to Bartlett Yancey High School where she also taught math as well as serving as head girl's basketball coach.