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Character, Commitment, and Confidence: Women’s Basketball Welcomes Coach Hayley Schaetzle

by Ali Dimoff

This season, Pitt-Greensburg Women’s Basketball will be coached by Hayley Schaetzle. She recently served as the Director of Basketball Operations for the Women’s Basketball program at the University of Buffalo (UB).

“This [Pitt-Greensburg] was just a phenomenal opportunity for me. I’m familiar with the AMCC. I love the positioning for recruiting at Pitt-Greensburg, in terms of being closer to the Pittsburgh schools, and just a campus that I can really buy into,” Schaetzle said. “I feel very comfortable selling it to recruits. I have no hesitation in selling both the academic advantages of having a Pitt degree, and being able to build strong relationships on a small campus, as well as the opportunities they would have in the AMCC.”

Schaetzle plans on building character, commitment, and confidence.

“Those are the three C’s that we’ll focus on in everything we do this year.” “This is a group that I see incredible dedication and commitment. Their character, I could not have asked for a more high character group. They have a willingness and desire to do great, so I’m very excited for them,” she said.

Kelsey Oddis and Colleen Murphy, who coach Schaetzle refers to as high character individuals, will be captains this season.

“They are very dedicated and doing a great job as leaders,” Schaetzle said. “It’s been a very natural transition for the rest of the players, who very much trust them and really respect them,” she said.

Accountability is important to coach Schaetzle, who in the past has had teams exceed 3.0 GPAs.

“It’s nice to be with a group who understands once they leave here, what’s really sustaining them is between their ears. They’re excited about their majors, so really what it is, is teaching a younger group how to be successful in the classroom at the college level,” she said.

Coach Schaetzle employs a few different tactics to ensure success, which includes mandatory study hall hours.

“If they’re a morning person, we get them in there in the morning. If they’re not, I’m not pulling them out of bed at 7 a.m. We want them to be productive when they’re in there,” she said. “We work toward a rigid schedule, and one that sets them up for success, but something that works for them as an individual.”

Accountability doesn’t end with just study hall hours, players also do weekly check-ins with coach Schaetzle. They sign an academic book, bi-weekly individual meetings, as well as

progress reports every four weeks with professors, which shows if they’ve had a lot of absences and what their grades are.

“That’s really just a great catch for us. That helps them [players] say ‘I should have an A in there, why do I have a B-? Oh, I turned that paper in and it got lost on their desk, and that helps them create that dialogue prior to that final grade coming and we have a surprise. This group has very high academic expectations for themselves, so it’s really just me here as an extra tool for them.”

The team offered a free clinic Saturday, Oct. 14. It was a way for them to have a positive impact on the community, according to Schaetzle.

“It was a very tangible way that we could reach out and have a positive impact on the community and introduce our program, our values, to the community,” she said.

In terms of season expectation, Schaetzle has a plan for that, too.

“The expectation is that we are masters of our game. We will implement a game plan, and we will make sure that we can achieve that to the best of our ability. We’re going to go out, give our best effort, on and off the court,” she said. “And I just think by nature some really cool things will come from that this year.”

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