The West Senators have hired Doug Williams as the new head coach of the girl’s basketball team.
Williams, who played his high school ball at Eastern and Piketon, has eight years of head coaching experience, predominately on the boys’ side.
Spending the last four years in Pittsburgh, Williams decided to move back to the place he considered “home” to continue his coaching career.
“When I decided what I wanted to do, I wanted to come back where I was comfortable. So, I came back to what I called home,” Williams said. “I grew up in Pike County and Scioto County. I have a lot of ties in the area and I was comfortable coming back. I wanted to find something in the area to help the kids similar to how I grew up.”
Although he hasn’t called the shots for a girls team, Williams does have some experience coaching girls during his time at Central High School.
“I have only been a boys coach so far but Pennsylvania rules have allowed us to work back and fourth between the boys and girls, so I’ve worked with girls in the past,” Williams said. “Whether it’s boys or girls, what I want to do at Portsmouth West is I want to grow the sport. Anytime I can help the boy’s program or I can help a boy’s player, I’m going to do that. Anytime time I can help the girl’s program or a girl’s player, I am going too. That’s my goal.”
Williams isn’t aware of the most recent past of the Lady Senators. However, he’s already been studying the roster and has noted that he’ll have most of his team returning next season as he only counted one senior on last year’s roster.
“I know when I was growing up, the boys and girl’s programs were both very good,” Williams said. “I have done some homework. There were 15 girls on the roster that I saw and they only had one senior. Regardless of what their record was like last year, that’s definitely a positive when you take over any coaching job is that you have returning players that have that experience.”
Williams is just eager to get his team on the court.
“Basketball is my love and my passion,” Williams said. “I’ve always been somebody that gets lost in trying to help individual players and I love player development. So for me, as soon as we can start doing some player development and some 1-on-1 sessions, the better it will be for me.”
The first challenge Williams is going to address is the culture in the locker room.
“The biggest thing when you take over a program that hasn’t had the success is you have to change the environment, which is hard to change because you as a coach can be as positive as you want but if there’s no buy in, then it’s hard to do,” Williams said. “If the kids don’t want to play, they’re not going to play.”
Although he’s predominately been a motion person on offense and man-to-man person on defense, Williams isn’t glued to one system and will be open to change once he gets a better feel for his players.
“The beautiful thing for me about basketball is there are 1,000 ways to play basketball,” Williams said. “There are coaches with championships that have played 2-3 zone and there are coaches with championships that have played man. The biggest thing you need to do as a coach is to get buy in from the players. I tell the kids that all time, this is your team. I’m here to help you be the best that you can be but this is your basketball team.”
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.