Q & A with the new women’s basketball head coach

Vickrey brings experience, success to Irish program

The+new+women%27s+varsity+basketball+head+coach%2C+Mr.+Alan+Vickrey%2C+already+has+met+with+the+team+on+several+occasions.+
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Q & A with the new women’s basketball head coach

The new women's varsity basketball head coach, Mr. Alan Vickrey, already has met with the team on several occasions.

The new women's varsity basketball head coach, Mr. Alan Vickrey, already has met with the team on several occasions.

nchslive.com / Used by permission

The new women's varsity basketball head coach, Mr. Alan Vickrey, already has met with the team on several occasions.

nchslive.com / Used by permission

nchslive.com / Used by permission

The new women's varsity basketball head coach, Mr. Alan Vickrey, already has met with the team on several occasions.

Annika Garwood, Sports Editor

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Veteran high school coach Mr. Alan Vickrey was recently named the women’s varsity basketball head coach. He replied to emailed questions from the Megaphone about his new role as a member of the Irish family. An edited version of his responses follow.

Question: What attracted you to the women’s head coaching position at Cathedral?  

The attraction came from three sources: First, the chance to return to a private, faith-based school; second, the great athletic tradition at Cathedral in all sports, of both genders and toward playing the best competition available; third, the chance to work with some great people I know at Cathedral that I knew would be supportive of our efforts to continue reviving the women’s basketball program: Mr. Rick Streiff, Mr. Matt Panzer, Mr. Jason Delaney, Mr. Mike Miller, Mr. Greg Bamrick, Ms. Jean Kesterson, and, of course, Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Coach Mrs. Linda Bamrick and many others.

Question: What do you see as the differences between coaching in a public school vs. coaching in a private school such as Cathedral?

I have experience in private schools. My first head coaching position was at Brebeuf Jesuit. Eighteen years as a head coach there was filled with challenges and opportunities. Perhaps the most important advantage I see in the private school environment is the concept that the family and the student have decided to come to our school. The idea that a student athlete wants to attend our school is the beginning of building a team with a group of young ladies who want to be at Cathedral with all of its expectations, challenges and opportunities. There is a great chance to build a special team and a special tradition.

I loved teaching and coaching at North Central. There are great people and super young ladies with which to build a high quality team. Different challenges exist there and with three middle schools, the great advantage of numbers of players is sometimes offset by a sense of competitiveness among the middle schools, which makes putting together a team at the high school somewhat more difficult. But Coach Ramey has surely taken that challenge and turned the public school in Washington Township into a powerhouse program.

Question: How will your role as the school’s full-time substitute teacher affect your coaching position? 

I do not think I would take a head coaching job without being in the building. I believe it is important to be able to talk with your players and interact with them in other parts of their lives. They need to understand that my position is about helping them become better people, that basketball is just my “class” in pursuit of that goal. Being in daily contact with our players, their teachers and their friends provides an opportunity to learn more about their goals, their skill sets and their other passions in life.

Question: What are both your immediate and long-range goals for the team?

Our goals are built around three specific principles of our program. First, the  Irish will be the harder playing team on the floor; no opponent will play harder than we will; second, we will be the smarter playing team on the floor, and no opponent will be better prepared, more fundamentally sound, understand the game or the game plan for a specific game better than our team, and; third, we will be the best team on the floor. No opponent will have and execute a better team concept than our team will on and off the floor.

If we are able to play with these principles at the heart of every practice session, to work at being better each day, and do good things for each other on and off the floor, I believe this team will grow quickly more competitive and be extremely deserving of a great following by the Cathedral community.

Question: How do you put these goals into place?

I have been blessed in my career to have been surrounded by great players, great coaching staffs and great administrators, all of whom gave our approach a chance to be successful. We will strive to help our players get better every day, growing in confidence and thus expanding their willingness to be “all in” for each other and our program. So far, our players have been enthusiastic, asked questions that expressed high levels of interest in our approach and expressed a significant desire to get in the gym and begin workouts.  We are in the process of hiring superb assistant coaches (Coach Finn and Coach Schmidt), all of whom have the ability to be head coaches or who have been head coaches (Coach Bamrick). I understand that being good is about having people around who are better than I am at many if not most parts of coaching. And success is always connected to a quality administration. In the short time I have been directly associated with Cathedral, every encounter with President Bridges, Principal Worland or Athletics Director Streiff, has produced a positive, forward-thinking and supportive response. Success is about the team concept always. I believe I see all the elements of a great team here at Cathedral.

Question: How are you already working with the team?

I have met with the players on three different occasions at this point. As I stated, the enthusiasm and the interest level seem significant. We had our first open gym on May 11. I was extremely pleased with the effort, the desire to learn and execute what we asked, the level of communication (talking to each other on the floor and the listening skills) and the attempt to play as hard as our current level of conditioning would allow. We have a busy June scheduled. I expect many more discussions and questions during the activities of June. If this team wants to be dramatically improved, then we must change the way we do certain things. That means significant teaching on the coaches’ part and the same such learning on the players’ part. The coaching staff is excited about getting into full speed after the next two weeks of mandated “quiet time” with regard to out-of-season participation.

 

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