RUSSELL: Coaching carousel

NATALIE RUSSELL

The Roseville High School girls basketball program will be having their third head varsity coach in the span of four years. Josh Errecart was the varsity head coach during the 2017-2018 season, which was my freshman year. The next two years Allan Darte took over this position. However, Darte was not asked to return for the 2020-2021 season so there will be a new varsity coach once again.

Because I was not on varsity as a freshman, I didn’t play directly for Errecart. However, I was able to see how he ran the program as a whole. Errecart is a teacher on campus as well as a coach so he was able to make the necessary connections with students and staff to promote the program. When Darte became coach, the basketball program changed somewhat because he had no previous association with the team.

These changes took some time for the players to get used to. Darte´s coaching style was different, we played in different tournaments, and new traditions were established. With the help of team leaders such as Madi Law, Isabelle Sanders, and Alyssa Sandle this transition was made easier. They were able to adapt to the new coach and help underclassmen do the same, as well as helping us to bond as a team. Now with another new coach this season, we as a team will have to adapt to these changes once again.

Not only has the varsity coaching position changed, the other coaching positions have changed as well. As of next year, a combined total of eight head coaches have come and gone through all three levels in the span of four years. During the 2017-2018 season, Kaela Hoffman was the freshman coach, Sean Seymour was the JV coach and Errecart was the varsity coach. Then Hoffman and Erreacart left the program. During the 2018-2019 season, the new freshman head coach was Phil Madrid, the JV coach was Seymour and the varsity head coach was Darte.

Then for the 2019-2020 season, we didn’t have enough girls for a freshman team. Seymour left the program and Coach Madrid became the JV coach while Darte remained the varsity head coach. Now for the next season a new varsity coaching staff will be hired. As of right now, Coach Madrid will still be the JV coach and if there are enough girls, a new freshman coach will be needed.

All of these changes have been difficult. Our team should be focused on winning games, not readjusting to different coaching styles and learning new plays almost every season.

With this amount of turnover in the coaching staff, it seems like there might be a flaw in the system of support. With a teacher on campus, he or she has instant access to the Athletic Director and Vice Principals to make sure all processes were done and done correctly. Darte did not have that instant access or that type of support from administration. The hiring staff may want to increase the level of support for off campus coaches because they might not understand the extra duties of coaching such as getting vans, ordering buses, reserving gym times, etc.

Despite the sheer amount of coaches that have been a part of the girls basketball program over the last three years, the unity of the team has never changed. The entire program has created strong relationships between players of all grades. I remember being very nervous when I got pulled up to varsity in the middle of my sophomore year.

I was worried they wouldn’t accept me as much because I came in so late. However, it took almost no time before they took me under their wing. Despite the amount of staff changes, the bonds between us as teammates will never change.