The women’s basketball team may have found just what it needs to turn it back into a winning program: a new coach.
Robin Potera-Haskins will take over as the head women’s basketball coach, Director of Athletics Scott Carnahan announced via e-mail April 19.
She will succeed interim coach Casey Kushiyama, who led the team for one year after longtime coach Robyn Stewart departed in August. Potera-Haskins has coached for 24 years at several different institutions, and her collegiate coaching record is 336-198.
“I’m interested in being in a place that puts value on academics as well as athletics,” she said. “I believe that Linfield is going to be a good fit.”
A hiring committee comprising members of the health, human performance and athletics department and three female student-athletes chose Potera-Haskins for the position.
“We narrowed down the applicants based on who met the job requirements listed in the job description,” senior Nadra Evans said.
Evans, a key player on the basketball team this year, was a member of the hiring committee.
Three candidates were interviewed for the position, and Potera-Haskins was the best choice, Evans said.
“Just by looking at her background and seeing what she did for many other schools [to improve their teams], I think she can turn our program around,” Evans said.
Potera-Haskins anticipates jumpstarting the struggling team, Carnahan said. This year, the team had a 6-19 record — an improvement from its 3-22 record during the 2008-09 season.
“She’s an enthusiastic person and is excited about the position,” Carnahan said. “Hopefully, she will be able to build upon the progress that was made last year and continue building our program to be competitive at the national level.”
Potera-Haskins was the head coach for the last three years for the women’s team at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a NCAA Division II school in Florida. She led its team to the 2009 National Christian College Athletic Association championship game, which it lost by only three points.
She was also the head coach at Louisiana College (2006-07), Montana State University (2001-04), Texas Wesleyan University (1991-01) and Austin College (1994-99).
She was also an assistant coach at Winthrop University. She helped the Eagles improve their record from 2-26 in 2004-05 to 14-15 during the 2005-06 season.
“Robin has tremendous basketball knowledge and a history of success at every level she has coached at,” Carnahan said. “Coupled with her teaching experience, I think she will be a good fit for the college.”
Potera-Haskins will also teach courses within the HHPA department.
News reporter Shawn Fisher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org