What was your impression from your first experience with the WNBA as part of the Portland Fire staff in 2000?
“I was really young in the profession and I had known (Portland Fire head coach and GM ) Linda Hargrove because I had had an internship with the Colorado Xplosion of the ABL before the WNBA, so that was how I knew her. She knew I was looking to get into coaching and she gave me an opportunity as a young coach to come and be their director of operations. I got to sit in on every coaches meeting. I will always be appreciative to her for that. The fans there were incredible. It was a great experience for me as a young coach.”
What are you most looking forward to as you take this new position?
“I think multiple things. One, I’m looking forward to being back with Curt. I have a lot of faith in him. I have a lot of trust in him. I have a lot of respect for him and how hard he works and goes about preparing. He’s just one of the best out there, Xs and Os-wise. I’m also looking forward to coaching some of the best athletes in the world. I always follow the games in the league, but obviously I followed the Sun a little closer and got to see the incredible season they had. I look forward to being a part of that and helping them continue to grow. It’s just an incredible opportunity. I’ve got a lot to learn, transitioning from the college game to the pro level, but I look forward to learning from him and from Steve (assistant coach Steve Smith).”
What is the biggest challenge making the transition from college to professional basketball?
“I think it’s just different than college. My relationships will be different. I want to get to know our players and help them prepare and be the best they can be. The game is just at a higher level. It’s a lot faster pace. But that’s something I look forward to and I am really excited about.”
What was it like working with Curt in college?
“I just kind of showed up on his door-step as a young coach when he first got the job at BG, just kind of walked in and said, ‘Hey, I know I’m pretty green but I will work my butt off for you.’ He took a chance on me as a young coach and 17 years later, we’re reunited. I learned so much from him about work ethic, about loyalty, about recruiting and building relationships and obviously about Xs and Os. He’s very good at that chess match of putting people in positon to be successful and playing people to their strengths. He’s one of the best out there at that. At the end of the day though, we had a lot of fun working together and building successful programs.”