Gulf Coast women’s basketball team gets new head coach
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Gulf Coast women’s basketball program once again has a new head coach. The College working quickly to fill the vacancy left when Kathy McConnell Miller shocked many by pulling out of the job less than a week ago. Rory Kuhn has been tabbed to lead the Lady Commodores. Kuhn was a serious candidate the first time around in this search. Making this process move rather quickly. A native of Long Island, he played college ball at Suffolk Community College in New York, got his undergraduate and Masters degrees in New York as well. He coached high school ball in Long Island for ten years, and was recruited to come to Northwest Florida as an assistant by then Raiders men’s head coach Steve DeMeo. Rory coached four seasons in Niceville, and was a part of the 2015 National Championship team. So he has Panhandle experience. After Northwest he moved to St. John’s as an assistant with the women’s team there. Now he’s moving back south, and is rather excited to be doing so.
“Super excited, beyond thrilled.” coach Kuhn told me Friday via Zoom. “Like I told you before it’s my home away from home, I’ve always considered it. I loved my time down there when I was at Northwest. I always tell people I spent, those were some of the best four years of my life, I had down there. So the opportunity to come back is super exciting for me. And something I wanted to jump at once I saw the job was open.”
Having the experience of coaching under DeMeo with the Northwest Florida men’s team is rather valuable experience for the coach, who is confident that experience will help pay off in a big way moving forward.
“I was telling somebody before, you don’t really know how good the Panhandle is until you actually go through it.” said Kuhn. “I’ve always said this, I think it’s the best conference in the country. It’s so hard, I mean you play teams three times. And just knowing the type of players that have come out of there, and the rich tradition that it has, it’s not for the weak. I can tell you that! So having experience, and having gone through it at the highest level, it will definitely help somebody like me be more prepared, than someone that’s never been through the Panhandle, that’s for sure.”
Coach Kuhn says he credits coach DeMeo with giving him all the tools to help him succeed in coaching, and is thankful for that. He also told me he’s appreciative of the support he’s already getting from the Gulf Coast family, from among others, A.D. Mike Kandler, and former G.C. coach Roonie Scovel, the Hall of Famer who made the Gulf Coast program what it is today. He says he feels very welcome, and can’t wait to get to Panama City and to get started. Though he did say he is already working the phones hard to haul in some recruits, since there are several roster spots to fill and we are only weeks away from the start of the Fall semester.
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