Cougar of the Week: 11/13

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Photo: Dan Diez

Photo: Dan Diez

Dan Diez (’15) has played basketball for his whole life, be it on Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams in high school or for Club Basketball here at Clark. So it came as a surprise to no one when he became an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team this year.

 

Scarlet: What was the process of becoming an assistant coach?

Diez: Last year I was formally introduced to Head Coach Pat Glispin by one of my favorite professors who also did work in the athletic board. I kind of just had an opening in my schedule, and I approached coach and asked her if I could jump on board.

Scarlet: Have you had previous coaching experience?

Diez: When I was in high school, I did a lot of coaching in rec leagues and later for AAU, so it’s something I’ve always been interested in, and I’m really happy to be coaching again.

Scarlet: Did you have aspirations of coaching at Clark for a while, or did this come out of nowhere?

Diez: Well, being a gym rat my whole life, playing college basketball for me is the dream, and when I got to Clark, I decided to take advantage of other opportunities. And senior year, I said, ‘maybe this is the time to get involved, and my passions drove me more to coaching than playing.’

Scarlet: What do you think you will be able to add to the team?

Diez: I stopped growing before I should have, and I have experience playing the four, the three, the two, and now I’m a one. So I know it’s all about playing to your strengths at whatever moment. I also think just my ability to pick up schemes quickly, and help players fine tune aspects of their game will be useful. Coach Glispin and Coach O’Dell have a very strong grasp of the bigger picture, but it’s up to myself and the other assistant coaches to making the little things better for individual players. It’s all those little things that add up to big wins.

Scarlet: What kind of schemes is the team implementing?

Diez: We like to run. We’re going to get up the floor, and with that we have to be a scrappy defensive team, work hard on both ends, and bring a high energy style of play. It’s different than our conference where a lot of teams are looking to slow down the pace and get long possessions. We’re looking to get out and put the ball in the hole, and pressure teams.

Scarlet: What role does basketball play in your life?

Diez: I’m confused by the question because basketball is life. I feel like you just stated two synonyms, and for that reason I don’t understand the question.

Scarlet: My next question was actually going to be, “Is ball life?”

Diez: I don’t feel like I need to answer that question at this point [laughs]. But on a more serious note, it’s been there throughout my life, and growing up I was always the kid who was the first one there, and they had to turn the lights off in order for me to leave. So eventually, if my path takes me to a position where I’m the one who turns the lights on and off, I’m going to understand to keep it on a little longer for the people still in the gym.

 

Diez and the rest of the women’s basketball team will open their season against  Becker in the Worcester City Tournament on Saturday, November 15 at WPI.