By: Victor Dixon, A&E Editor
Women’s basketball at Newman is about to enter a new era with the hiring of head coach Amy Briggs.
Briggs, who replaced former coaches Drew and Nicole Johnson after they resigned last spring, was born and raised in Kansas and says she grew up around the game.
Briggs’ father was a high school basketball coach, and she went on to play basketball at Johnson County Community College and then Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. After graduating from Truman State, Briggs said, she knew she wanted to coach at the college level and went on to work as an assistant coach at Missouri Valley College In Marshall, Missouri, at Central College in Pella, Iowa, and at Truman State.
Once Newman’s head coach position opened, she said, she saw a chance to live closer to her family and to take the next step in her coaching career.
Briggs said she is loving Newman’s small campus lifestyle, and she praised the opportunities for success and community that her players enjoy within the team and on campus.
She said she is going into this year with several goals for her team, including competing in the MIAA conference tournament, giving her players a great experience where they enjoy being a part of the team, and inspiring them to go above and beyond.
“I think it’s important for them to have a female leader in their lives and just to empower women that they can do whatever they want, whether that’s on the court or outside the court,” Briggs said.
At practices so far, Briggs said, she has noticed a wide variety of strengths in the team that she believes will allow members to play fast and up-tempo and to be a balanced scoring team.
The majority of this year’s team members are freshmen and sophomores, Briggs said, and she sees an opportunity to work on their skills starting at the foundation. She said she also appreciates the help that the returning upperclassmen can offer in establishing the culture of the team.
Out of the many talented players, Briggs says some players to watch this year are seniors Amiya Josey and Carissa Beck and sophomore Valeriya Lioukina.
Women’s basketball will start its season with a game on Nov. 10 at Southern Arkansas.
PHOTO: Sydney Endicott, Photographer