Linfield basketball coaches Larry Doty and Robin Potera-Haskins come from different backgrounds but each strives for excellence through hard work.
Potera-Haskins, the women’s coach, began her coaching career at age 15 for a local softball team.
“I remember talking with my dad and saying that I would really love being a coach,” reflects Potera-Haskins. “He told me I could coach for a living and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Eventually I gravitated toward basketball.”
She started her basketball coaching career as a graduate assistant at Stephen F. Austin State University. Later, Potera-Haskins took over a ninth-grade basketball program before moving to an all-black intercity high school where she became the youngest coach in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Before coming to Linfield, Potera-Haskins coached at a variety of college levels, including NAIA and all three levels of NCAA.
“I’ve been coaching for 26 years,” she says. “I am probably one of the only coaches that has literally coached at every level.”
With her most recent move to Linfield, Potera-Haskins believes the transition from coaching at different college levels is not too difficult.
“Sometimes the techniques in which you are teaching are at different levels, but the energy and the intensity level needs to be the same to be successful,” states Potera-Haskins.
Coming to Linfield, Potera-Haskins understands the importance of being a student-athlete.
“Students who are playing Division III are true student-athletes,” says Potera-Haskins. “At Linfield, the student-athletes understand what their priority is. It’s an education and they also have the privilege of playing sports.”
Along with her impressive resume, Potera-Haskins brings a renewed sense of hard work and determination to the program.
“I’m really good with young people who give their all,” says Potera-Haskins. “I tell the girls ‘I’m going to give you all I’ve got and you have to give me everything you’ve got.’”
Her players take note of her intense passion for the game and the Linfield team.
“Coach Haskins is always trying to express to us how much she loves us and wants us to just succeed and I think that helps a lot,” notes senior guard Gretchen Owens.
On the other side of the court, men’s coach Larry Doty has taken a different path on his career journey.
He started out as a physical education major at Linfield, spending his spare time playing sports. His all-around athleticism allowed him to excel in football, basketball, and baseball.
“I came here in the ‘70s when everyone had long hair and I still have many great memories,” recalls Doty. “I always enjoyed playing sports and was fortunate to be able to play three sports at the collegiate level.”
Doty coached at McMinnville, Hillsboro, and West Linn high schools, eventually making his way back to Linfield.
“The Linfield job opened up and I ended up coming back and becoming the head coach,” remembers Doty. “Now this is my 25th year so I have spent 30 years of my adult life at Linfield, which has been pretty great.”
When speaking of the basketball team, Doty’s excitement emphasizes the talent of the current basketball players.
“We have an outstanding future ahead of us and hope to build on the success that we have had in recent years,” says Doty. “Our goal this year is to get back to the playoffs and once key players return from injuries we can continue to take steps toward achieving it.”
His players often take notice of his work ethic on and off the court.
“He is the hardest working guy I have ever met,” says junior guard Dakotah Pine. “When we get out on the court he expects us to work just as hard as he does.”
Doty’s biggest accomplishment lies neither in a conference title nor a championship. Instead, he notes the changes and growth of Linfield students in their years at Linfield and beyond.
“My biggest accomplishment is helping all the people who come through the program on both the academic and basketball side,” says Doty. “I still keep in contact with many of these people and enjoy knowing how Linfield has helped them chase their dreams and become successful in life.”
Through hard work and determination, Doty and Potera-Haskins hope to lead the Linfield basketball programs to victory for years to come.
-- Ian Rapport '12