After coming off a superb season, Brooks DeBartolo fell short in a 4A State Championship meeting against Lake Highland Prep . We got a chance to talk with Head Coach Maggie Hedley who was recently awarded the Class 4A Coach of the Year award, here’s what she had to say.
Since coming off a best year in school history, describe your off season plans for the program to get ready for next year?
Off season plans include hitting the weights, open gyms, University of Florida and University of Tampa team camp. Also every returning Varsity player and some JV players will play with travel teams from March until August.
Describe your Coach/Player relationship and how it has been beneficial?
Coach -Player relationship is huge, especially when it comes to young ladies. Building trust, letting them know you care and you want the best out of them is key. I truly believe any one of my players past or present would run through a wall for me, simply because I would do the same for them. Also, going beyond Basketball, checking grades, making sure things are good at home are all important as a coach. It’s so much more than Basketball and these kids have a lot thrown at them.
After receiving the Coach of the year for you district, How do you plan on improving as a coach?
It’s a great honor to receive Coach of the Year because I really admire all of the other Coaches in the State. I have a great support system of coaching friends who I have learned a lot from. To better myself as a coach I plan on attending several Coaching Clinics, reading a bunch of books about coaching and team management. Also, just picking the brain of coaches in the State of Florida. Any time I get a chance to meet someone new and learn from them I certainly do. There’s always something new to learn and I’m always open to that.
What coaches or other people have been great influences in your life and why?
My Coaching influences are certainly my two High School coaches Jim Robinson and Gary Halbert. They definitely influenced my style of coaching. I’ll always hold on to the things I learned from them during my four years of High school. Also, I had 4 different Coaches in my college basketball career. I learned a lot of what not to do in my college playing years. The what not to do situations have helped me just as much.
How has the atmosphere been for you and your Seniors during the recruitment periods?
Having 6 Seniors this year has kept me busy when it comes to college coaches reaching out. I appreciate the girls trusting my feedback and allowing me to be a part of their recruiting process. The parents, travel coaches and myself have all worked together to assist these young ladies make the tough decision of where to attend college.
What players should have a outbreak year next season?
Next season I look for all of my returning Varsity players to have a huge impact. Our leading scorer Alyssa Nieves returns as a Senior. A dynamic athlete and lock down defender Kayla Blaine will be a Junior and 3rd year Varsity player. She’s going to be a huge impact player for us. Ari Lennett will be a Junior and is tough as nails and can score in bunches. She averaged 20 points a game on JV and had some double digit scoring games on Varsity. Also, Joy Searcy the younger sister of Junior Searcy is a wealth of knowledge on the court. She’s a coaches kid and certainly plays extremely hard and will be a Junior who will contribute next year.