North Texas Daily

Head coach’s style leads women’s basketball

Head coach’s style leads women’s basketball

Head coach’s style leads women’s basketball
November 19
23:18 2014

Kyle Youmans / Staff Writer

During a Mean Green women’s basketball game, head coach Mike Petersen is easy to spot. He’s usually wearing a green vest and is active, animated and engaged with what is going on.

In his third season with the Mean Green, Petersen not only plays a big role on the court, but off the court as well.

“He’s really involved. He’s involved both on and off the court,” senior forward Briesha Wynn said. “I think that is critical. Now he has a feel for our personalities and our game”

Before his time with the Mean Green, Petersen had already accumulated more than 30 years coaching in the women’s basketball world. Petersen coached at schools such as Gonzaga University, New Mexico State University, Texas Christian University and Wake Forest University where he was the winningest head coach in school history.

Because of his previous experience at other Division I schools, Petersen has had the opportunity to develop and perfect his own game plan and scheme. He uses a five-core covenant system in order to appeal to his players and make a difference on and off the court.

The five principals he stresses to his players are playing hard, sharing the ball, encouraging your teammates, committing to defense and enjoying the game.

Petersen said he uses those core covenants in his own life as well to affect his in-game coaching style through the only two principals he can achieve from the sideline: encouraging his team and enjoying the game.

“I’m just trying to help us win,” Petersen said. “My default just in my personality is just to kind of be a cheerleader. That’s me.”

Sophomore forward Eboniey Jeter said the team would not be the same without Petersen’s animated and engaging coaching style.

“If he wasn’t as animated as he is, we’d probably be just kind of blank,” sophomore forward Eboniey Jeter said. “Because we know that he is there to help it is so much easier when he’s animated than to be just like stern about it.”

Jeter also said Petersen really cares about the players and teaches them lessons with his covenant system.

“On the court he builds you as a person, character and attitude wise outside of the court,” Jeter said. “So whatever we learn on the court, it’s easy to take off the court.”

The Mean Green has recently started its non-conference schedule and despite a rough start, is determined to rally behind Petersen and improve as the season progresses.

“You want a coach that’s able to get the girls going. Sometimes the energy is not there and when you see a coach involved, there’s nothing better than that, and we feed off that energy,” Wynn said.

Whether the team wins or loses, one of the biggest things Petersen said he strives to do is build relationships with his players that can last even after basketball.

“One of the things that is really important to me is when you have a person in your program, and you have a right relationship with them, and they know that you have their back,” Petersen said. “And then they play, they graduate, they go on with their life and then five years or 10 years or 20 years down the road, you hear back from them, and they’re letting you know how their life is. That stuff, to me, is more important than wins and losses.”

Featured Image: Women’s basketball head coach Mike Petersen talks with a referee during the game against Northern Colorado University on Monday morning at the Super Pit. Photo by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

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