Name: Michael Basler
Coaching position: Head women’s basketball coach, assistant athletic director at the University of Saint Mary
Years as coach: 23 years — 17 years at the collegiate level
Why did you get into coaching? I always wanted to be a coach. My dad had always coached my teams and friends while I was growing up and we always had a great time learning and competing and that inspired me to pursue coaching as a career.
I also coach for the relationships that you develop with your players, staff and those you compete against over time. Some of my dearest friends are people I meet through coaching.
What are you best memories of coaching so far? There are several that come to mind, here are a few:
Coaching every game with my father on the bench as a part of my staff. Words can’t explain the emotions and feelings I have about this; it makes every game special.
Winning our first home conference game in 2005-06 against Friends, who was really good that year. I remember being in the huddle before the last possession of the game and Lindsay Seevers being adamant about guarding the Friends post player — Lindsay was a guard. We got the stop and Lindsay got the rebound and won the game.
Beating no. 24 ranked Sterling this past season in our conference home opener. It was a great team effort to beat the perennial power of the league and all of our kids contributed in the victory.
Watching Michelle Chrisman sink a buzzer beater right in front of our bench to beat Bethany at the buzzer. Wow, what a rush for our kids to win a game like that.
Having the opportunity to coach some really special people: Amber and Lindsay Seevers, Jessica Bryant, Molly Dumovich, Liz Gillespie, Jamie Mireles, Addie Heim, Leslie Teal, Jasmine Johnson, Michelle Chrisman and Kristen Owsley. These kids were a coach’s dream.
What advice do you have for future coaches? First be yourself, understand that coaching is an ongoing growing process. Players and the game are constantly changing and you have to accept this to a certain level and adapt.
I think holding true to the fundamentals of the game and continuing to teach your players the game and how the game should be played.
Communication is the most important thing as a coach; if you can’t communicate to your players effectively, it is going to make your time coaching difficult.
I always search for ways to grow as a coach by watching those around me in basketball and watching those coaches of other sports at all different levels — high school, college and professional.