'I'm ready for this'
Newly hired head coach Shannon Baugh comes to SVSU not short on coaching experience, as she has served as an assistant coach the last seven seasons. She hopes that her up-tempo style of basketball will not only get her team excited, but the fans as well.
June 23, 2008 —
Shannon Baugh may have only been SVSU's women's basketball coach for a little more than a week, but she already likes what she sees.
When asked at the June 6 press conference introducing her to the community about her immediate thoughts of the University, she only had one thing to say:
Baugh comes to SVSU as the ninth head coach in the program's history, and is taking on her first head-coaching job. Prior to her latest stop, she has accumulated six years of Division-I coaching experience, with the last three coming as the top assistant to Linda Hill-MacDonald at the University at Buffalo Bulls, who finished an even season in the Mid-American Conference at 15-15 (8-8 MAC).
Despite this being her first head coaching job, Baugh believes her previous experience at the University at Buffalo, as well as her time spent as an assistant at Northern Illinois, Bradley, North Dakota and Wisconsin-Green Bay have her ready.
"I took something from every single place I've been," Baugh said. "At some point, you have to absorb everything that you've learned to that point, and just know, 'I'm ready for this.'"
Only having her job for a week, Baugh has had little time to look over her roster, but says she's looking forward to the fresh start for her and the team.
"It's a fresh start for everybody, so it's like come one come all, let's see what you got. Everyone's got a clean slate right now," Baugh said.
Still new to her position, Baugh has only had a brief period to spend with her newly inherited team, but says she has already began to give the women her set of expectations, both on and off the court.
"I want them to become successful young women," Baugh said. "That's my goal, to keep them on track, to give them some things that I would expect, and what people in the community would expect as well."
Her message to her team echoes the philosophy of not only competing for championships, but also looking to develope students that Athletic Director Mike Watson has brought to the department since taking over in January of 2007.
"There were three things I promised [the women's basketball team]," Watson said. "One, a coach that'll treat them with respect, who cared about them on and off the court. Someone who has the same beliefs I have, that graduation is the main goal, and who wants to win some titles."
Baugh also says she's happy with what she's heard about her team coming since arriving at Saginaw Valley.
"They're a really good group of girls, they work hard, and coming into a situation like that it's going to be a win-win situation. Vonnie did a really good job of bringing in some really good kids," Baugh said, referring to former head coach Vonnie Kilmer, who resigned following the end of the 2007-08 season for personal reasons.
"They're excited," Baugh continued. "With a new coach it can be kind of hard because you don't know what to expect. But they're excited, they want to play, and they want to get out there."
Baugh looks to bring an up-tempo style, both offensively and defensively, to her team, and with the return of last year's GLIAC assist leader, point guard Tricia Everett, hopes to have a strong presence on the floor to echo her message to the team.
"[I want to play] pressure defense, and push the ball," Baugh said. "I'd like to push the ball up and down the floor to get some excitement within the team, and to get the fans really into it."
Aside from the X's and O's on the court, Baugh says there is one thing she wants to bring to her team, a philosophy she learned from her time at the University at Buffalo.
"A big thing that Linda Hill McDonald preached to me was 'set your teammate up for success.' That's something that, no matter where I go, I'd like to take with me."