Finalists share knowledge

Posted 4/21/09

Beal, an assistant coach at Snow College this past season, was the last of three coaching finalists to take a turn walking members of the Trappers' program through a 90-minute public coaching demonstration. After guiding the team through a series of …

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Finalists share knowledge


{gallery}04_20_09/beal{/gallery}Former Northwest College standout Janis Beal exchanges a lighthearted moment with members of the Trappers roster on Thursday. Beal, the Trappers' career scoring leader, enjoyed a homecoming of sorts when she stepped into Cabre Gym as a finalist for the school's women's basketball coaching vacancy last Thursday. Tribune photo by Randal HorobikFormer NWC star back as coaching candidateFor two seasons, Janis Beal ruled the hardwood of Cabre Gym as the leading scorer in Northwest College women's basketball history. On Thursday, she returned as a candidate to direct the Trappers' program into the future. “I loved my time here from 2001-03,” Beal said. “That's why it appeals to me from a coaching aspect. This school and this program mean so much to me and hold a such a big place in my heart.”

Beal, an assistant coach at Snow College this past season, was the last of three coaching finalists to take a turn walking members of the Trappers' program through a 90-minute public coaching demonstration. After guiding the team through a series of stretching drills, Beal guided the Trappers through an array of ball handling exercises and shooting competitions.

“I like an up-tempo style of play that gets points on the board,” said Beal. “I much prefer it to a game that ends 40-30 or something. I think it's more fun for the players. I know it's more fun for me as a coach, and I think the fans appreciate that style more as well.”

Of course, with that style of play comes a need to play defense. Beal notes any team under her watch won't skimp on the defensive end of the floor.

“If you can't play defense, all those points don't do a lot of good,” she said.

Beal's pursuit of a head coaching position comes after assistant coaching stints at Snow and Eastern Washington. Her desire to find herself as a head coach, however, extends back to even before her time as a player at Northwest College and Southern Utah.

“Even when I was in high school, I think I wanted to coach,” said Beal. “I loved the sport of basketball and wanted to keep it in my life. I just enjoy working with people and watching them progress and helping them to get better.”

Being both the only female candidate for the position and the youngest of the three finalists comes with its own challenges, but Beal notes there's also a clear advantage should she find herself named the Trappers' new head coach.

“When I go and talk to recruits about what it's like to be part of the Northwest College program and what it's like being a student here, I can tell them exactly how it is because I've been here. I've done it. I lived it for two years.”

When it comes to recruiting, Beal notes that in her book it goes well beyond simple athleticism.

Woolley prefers up-tempo style

Among the three finalists vying for Northwest College's vacant head women's basketball coaching position, Lindsay Woolley represented the known variable in the equation. He was, after all, the only one of the three candidates with prior junior college head coaching experience.

After coaching the past season at Miles Community College, Woolley was also the only finalist whom Trapper fans had likely seen in action on the sidelines. The Trappers battled Woolley's Pioneers twice last season, dropping both contests.

For those unfamiliar with Woolley, however, Wednesday's coaching demonstration provided a firsthand insight into the man who led the Pioneers to a 21-win season last winter.

“In a perfect world, I'd like to play the game as fast as possible,” Woolley said of his outlook on the game. “Offensively, my philosophy boils down to wanting to get a great shot opportunity on every possession. There's nights you'll shoot well. There's nights the ball doesn't bounce your way. All you can ask for as a coach is to get a great opportunity each time down the floor.”

Defensively, Woolley said he emphasizes rebounding and reducing the number of second shots his teams surrender. He sets a goal of forcing turnovers on 23 percent of his opponents' possessions and mixes up defenses, presses and trapping schemes “to create as much chaos and havoc as possible.”

Woolley was the second of three coaching finalists to visit the NWC campus last week. During his 90-minute demonstration, his love for tempo was on display during a variety of full-court competitions challenging players to convert a set number of shots within a given period of time.

Additionally, the Trapper hopeful conducted drills on shooting mechanics and ball handling during his public 90-minute demonstration.

“The vacancy at Northwest College is a great situation,” Woolley said, describing his interest in joining the Trappers from a fellow Region IX member school. “Powell is a good community. The school has shown its commitment to athletics with improvements to facilities and such. You've got a dedicated athletic director in Jim Zeigler. The booster club is active and supportive. There's just a lot of positives at work here.”

Woolley indicated his love for coaching was cultivated when he got his start at coaching at the junior varsity level at Montana Tech.

“I started realizing that it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Woolley said of the experience. “I wasn't sure if I wanted to be at the high school level or the college level at the time. I stayed at the college level just because I felt it kept more doors open and I could always move to the high school level that way.”

As it turns out, Woolley has never needed to make that move. After five seasons assisting at Miles Community College, he received his break when the head position opened up last year with the Pioneer women's team.

“I jumped at the opportunity,” Woolley said. “It was a chance to implement a few of the things I wanted while continuing a lot of what was going on before.”

He experienced that same zeal looking at Northwest College.

“I've always enjoyed small towns,” said Woolley. “I grew up in Missoula, which back then was a pretty small town still. I love the people and getting to know them and the way the communities support their programs. Wyoming also does a good job with the state of their community college system.”