New coach gives hope to new season

Hey ’Cats. Believe it or not, the fall sports season is nearly over. With college and professional football and basketball still in full swing, it’s easy to forget that sometimes we Division-III schools have abbreviated schedules.
Now that soccer and volleyball are over, swimming and cross country are not far behind, and before you know it, basketball will be getting started (next Tuesday on the road against Concordia, actually).
In one of the earlier issues of the Review this year, I wrote an article about the hiring of a new women’s basketball coach amid allegations from a former school and something about a lawsuit (TRL, “New coach hired amid lawsuit” Sept. 10.) None of you remember it in all likelihood.
I don’t blame you; it’s not exactly something that would stick around in memory for more than a few hours. But since the basketball season is but a few days from kicking off, I thought it might be nice to revisit some of the reasons I feel that the women’s basketball team is going to be a team worth watching.
The new coach, Robin Potera-Haskins, is a former Division-I coach. Not only did she coach at that level, but her program at Montana State won two conference championship and NCAA tournament berths. You read that correctly, folks: We’ve got a March Madness-seasoned coach at our bench this year. At her prior schools, she won three conference championships and competed in three national championship games.
But perhaps the best athletic-related ability Potera-Haskins brings to the table is her otherworldly talent for turning around programs that are in the dumps. At each of the six schools she coached at prior to Linfield, the programs experienced a radical switch in their win-loss percentage.
Right now, this is perhaps the perfect remedy for our Wildcats after a series of disappointing seasons. It’s not like our ladies don’t play hard; it’s not like the talent isn’t there. Something was just not clicking, and the wins were just not happening.
Enter Potera-Haskins, who, in one semester at Linfield, has shown herself to be an energetic, positive and uplifting figure that will be a source of inspiration for her ladies.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with her for a lengthy interview earlier in the year, and I found in her words an earnestness that screams “I love Linfield!” What better fit could you possibly ask for?

Chris Forrer/Freelancer
Chris Forrer can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

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