Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cait Haggarty joins Camosun Chargers as new women’s basketball coach

September 5, 2017 by Adam Boyle, staff writer

A new year brings new changes; for the Camosun Chargers, those changes came in the form of two new coaches.

Brent Hall is now coaching the women’s volleyball players, and former UBC student athlete turned coach Cait Haggarty is coming to Camosun to coach the women’s basketball team.

Haggarty says that although she hasn’t had a lot of time with the Chargers team so far, she’s been working closely with the athletes to get accustomed to what she’ll need to do in order to make the team the best it can be.

“It’s been great so far,” she says. “I’ve been working with the athletes that are in town about three times a week. They’re a really fun group; they work really hard and bring a lot of energy to the court. It’s been nothing but positive so far.”

Camosun Chargers women’s basketball coach Cait Haggarty (photo by Adam Marsh/Nexus).

After playing for the UBC Thunderbirds, Haggarty took over as assistant coach for that team. Her new position at Camosun marks the first time she’s been a head coach. Haggarty says that learning what being a head coach means and what she’ll have to do succeed will hopefully come to her as she progresses this season.

“I think I’ll learn a lot of how to be a head coach this year,” she says. “I think the biggest change is that everything falls on me. As an assistant coach, you take your cues from the head coach. But as the head coach, you’re the one making the decisions. Obviously, I want to work really closely with my two assistants, but when it comes down to it the pressure is on me.”

Switching from being a student athlete to being a coach is quite common for players of any sport, but it’s not necessarily easy. Haggarty says that making the switch wasn’t as hard as it could’ve been.

“I played overseas for a year, and then after I came back from Germany I became a second assistant coach,” she says. “It was neat, since I was still very connected to the game. I think one of the key things for me was remembering what it was like to be a student athlete; I feel like I still haven’t lost sight of that, even though there’s a lot that, as a coach, you’re dealing with. I felt like the transition was good, though, in the sense that I could remember all those things and what it was like. It allowed me to connect with the athletes pretty easily.”

Haggarty says that she chose Camosun because Victoria is her home and because she saw a lot of potential in the program. Even though the players might not be on the team for as long as they would be at a school with longer programs, Haggarty feels like it’s a good starting point for players.

“I took the job because I was ready to come back home,” she says. “I also feel like there’s a lot this program has to offer. I think Camosun is a great school and that the program is a great opportunity for kids on the island, whether they want to take a specific program at Camosun or they eventually want to transfer to somewhere else. There’s so much talent on the island; I felt like it was a great opportunity to change the program a little from in the past, where it might’ve been lacking. There’s a real upside to the program, and I felt like it was a cool time to come in and help it be able to head in that direction.”

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