By Brittany Worthington
The Kalamazoo College women’s basketball team is searching for new leadership after Head Coach Sharri Brumfield announced her resignation. Coach Brumfield resigned for “personal reasons,” according to Kristen Smith, Athletic Director.
“I’m happy that we’re going to have a change in direction of the program. I’m really looking forward to seeing what a new coach can do for our team and for our program,” said Kelsey Johnson, junior player.
“It’s always hard to see a coach go, but I think it’s what was best for our program,” she said.
Smith said that phone interviews with potential replacement candidates concluded Friday. The Athletic Department is hoping to bring its final list of candidates to campus in two weeks.
“We’re looking for somebody who can build a program, somebody that can create a positive culture and work ethic within the program and provide an experience that enhances the educational experience of the student athletes we have,” she said. The members of the women’s basketball team will also have the chance to sit down with candidates, ask questions, run through simulated drills and practices, and offer their feedback to the selection committee.
When asked what she is looking for from new leadership, Johnson talked about her expectations as a student athlete: “Someone who can push us and un-tap all of our talents and make us come together. Someone who will make us work hard, who has all the right intentions for our program to be successful. And I individually am looking for someone who I can respect as a coach and push me and my teammates to be the best that I can.”
“Anytime you have a transition of coaching staff, there is an effect on recruiting,” said Smith on how this change will affect athletic recruitment. As of right now, however, the Athletic Department is keeping recruiting rates consistent, she said.
This success is due to the fact that student athletes who choose Kalamazoo typically prioritize academics before athletics, said Smith. “We sell the basketball program but the main draw to come to Kalamazoo College is the academic program. And athletics is an enhancement of their experience.”
Johnson also commented on academics at K and how that should affect the new coach’s perspective of his or her players. “I would like them to understand that we go to a rigorous school. They have to understand that school comes first and plan around our curriculum.”