After two years as an assistant coach on Pat Summitt's staff at her alma mater, Daedra Charles-Furlow was named the director of character development prior to the 2010-11 season.
In her new role, Charles-Furlow will focus on character education and life skills for the Lady Vol basketball players. She will pioneer the new position, which will be similar to the Vol football squad's Vol For Life program coordinated by Andre Lott.
"I think that first of all, you build character every single day," Charles-Furlow said. "In order to go out into this world and be successful, people look at your character. They look at who you are, what you bring, are you honest, are you loyal. I think that Pat has done an excellent job because she exemplifies all of that and she instills that in us."
Charles-Furlow has already assembled various team-building exercises for this season's squad, such as completing a military obstacle course and communication workshops.
Charles-Furlow graduated in the University of Tennessee's class of 1991 with outstanding accomplishments as a student-athlete. She led the Lady Vol basketball team in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots in both the 1990 and 1991 seasons. In her time, the 6-3 center was the seventh-ranked career scorer with 1,495 points, was sixth in rebounding with 858 boards and second in blocked shots with 97 rejects in her college career. She was a key contributor to the 1988-89 NCAA Championship team and the first Tennessee or SEC player to receive the most prestigious award in women's collegiate basketball in 1991, the Margaret Wade Trophy.
Charles-Furlow was a KODAK All-American in both 1990 and 1991. As a senior, she was the Southeastern Conference's Female Athlete of the Year and a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers' Association and Basketball Weekly's All-America Teams. As a senior, she was named to the all-tournament teams at the NCAA Final Four, Mideast Regional and SEC Championships. When she graduated in August 1991, finishing in four years despite having been admitted as an NCAA proposition 48 student, she had a degree in child and family studies. She is one of only five Lady Vols to have her number (32) retired.
Charles-Furlow played basketball professionally overseas in Italy, Japan, Turkey and France from 1991-96 beforing being taken with the eighth overall pick by the Los Angeles Sparks in the 1997 WNBA Elite Draft.
She was a member of three national teams, including the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team that won a bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics.
From 2003 to 2006, Charles-Furlow was an assistant coach at the University of Detroit Mercy. She also spent two seasons as an assistant under Nell Fortner with Auburn University's women's basketball program.
Daedra Charles-Furlow is married to Anthony P. Furlow and has a 10-year-old son, Anthonee. In her free time, Charles-Furlow enjoys spending time with her family and elderly people. She continues to mentor young people and volunteer, character traits she developed during her playing career at Tennessee. She was also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha while a student-athlete at Tennessee.