Samantha Leach, the new varsity girls basketball coach at Washington High School, got to meet at least some of the players who will be playing for her this winter, as well as members of the Washington City Schools administration before sitting down for an interview with the Record-Herald.
“I’m very excited,” Leach said. “This is my first coaching job. I’m excited to be back home.”
Leach, a graduate of Miami Trace High School and Saint Francis University, an outstanding high school and collegiate (Division I) basketball player, has been teaching at Philo Middle School and been coaching the j-v team at Philo High School the last three years. She will be taking a teaching position in the Washington City School District.
“I want to build a program,” Leach said. “I feel like that is what Washington Court House is looking for — they want to build a program.
“I’ve done that as a player and as an assistant coach, but I’ve never done it as a head coach,” Leach said. “I feel like this is the perfect opportunity and place to do that. They have the resources, they have the facilities, they have the potential. That’s why I applied here.
“I met the players for the first time today,” Leach said. “I think that’s one of the things I’m looking forward to this summer, getting to know them and getting them in the gym. I’d like to get us in some shoot-outs. I will get to know the girls over the summer. That’s why I think the timing is good; I have the entire summer to do that.”
What about expectations for the program?
“There will be expectations,” Leach said. “I want to win. Every coach wants to win. That’s the ultimate goal. I’m going to see what fits the players the best. I think that trying to force a system on players when you don’t have those kind of players, that can be tough. Whereas, if you build around them, you’ll be more successful in that way.
“At Philo, as a coaching staff, we were trying to instill a winning mentality,” Leach said. “I think that is something important in a program; getting the girls to want to compete, to want to get in the gym. I think I learned about being flexible, being able to adapt, as a j-v coach the last three years. I think I learned a lot from being the j-v coach in that aspect.
“I want the program to be one that the girls want to be a part of,” Leach said.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1ch