New Gulf Coast WBB coach working to settle in and fill out the roster
Talk about your tougher than normal job transitions. You can forgive Cayla Petree if she's feeling a bit of that
Since taking the job as Women's Basketball Head Coach at Gulf Coast, succeeding Hall of Famer Roonie Scovel, coach Petree has been working hard to not only move east from South Plains, Texas, but to get to know her new players.
That complicated by the pandemic, and even though some restrictions have eased in recent weeks, well it's still hard
for the new coach to get much time with the returning players, and even tougher with them not being allowed to
gather together in the gym together.
"We just try to stay in contact either through FaceTime or text." coach Petree told me as we met at the Harrison Field House Monday. "And they're working out. A couple of them are in summer classes. And we are just waiting to hear back from the NJCAA on what the timeline is for workouts and all that. And then we as an athletic department, (Gulf Coast A.D.) coach (Mike) Kandler will decide when we can actually get them back on campus.
So the transition a bit tougher for a new coach, not having players on campus, and not being able to be working through
the normal summer drills. Fair to say coach is anxious for the NJCAA and the college to give them the green light to move
"Yeah I think even if I wasn't new I would be chomping at the bit to get them here." coach Petree said. "You know we could be doing a lot of strength and conditioning, just working on skill development. And just meshing as a team. Absolutely. I think that's critical to our success as a team. But then also just on top of that, being the new guy and not knowing them, I mean a lot of them I've never even met because they're recruiting had been done, you know over the phone."
As for building that first roster she will coach into the 2020-2021 season, Petree seems confident with how things are going.
" I feel like we are really in a good place, the kids that we've signed, every one of them really can play. At Gulf Coast we expect to get the best kids in the country and then to develop them to be even better. And so I'm happy with where were at but we obviously need to find a few more spots."
And one advantage for her, even working through the limitations brought on by the pandemic, is the reputation of the program she is taking over.
"Well I think when you have the history of being the best program in the nation over the last decade, that definitely helps." coach Petree said. "What Coach Scovel did and her teams before me have made my job a whole lot easier. I've gotten in the door with coaches, AAU coaches, high school coaches across the nation. And they automatically knew who Gulf Coast is and what they've done. I haven't had to do much introducing."
Coach says she's missing the many summer tournaments that usually take part around the country, and in our area. That prevents her from seeing a lot of kids in one place at one time.