Lady Cru Basketball welcomes new coach

This month the university  welcomed Lisa Curliss-Taylor to its coaching staff.

Taylor is the ninth coach in the history of the Lady Crusaders basketball program. She is returning to the American Southwest Conference after spending five years in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

While coaching in the ASC, she led East Texas Baptist University to a 57-48 overall record in four seasons and three conference tournament appearances.

Curliss-Taylor is taking every step one at a time as the ultimate goal of the team next season is to win the conference tournament.

“We have to focus on improvement every day, take each day and each game with a high level of importance, and we will see success sooner or later,” she said.

UMHB Vice-President for Athletics Ben Shipp believes Curliss-Taylor is the right fit for the university.

“While I was getting to know Coach Taylor, I found her to be very energetic and confident with a real passion for the game. Lisa has a vision for our program, a vision of success, and she has a plan to make that vision a reality,” he said.

Freshman exercise and sport science major Taylor Creamer spoke about team members’ enthusiasm for Curliss-Taylor.

“We are very excited about the new coach. We have a lot of faith in her and believe she has a lot of really good things to bring to the table,” said.

Curliss-Taylor has a lot of basketball experience to help the Crusaders next season.

From being the head coach at Norman High School, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and East Texas Baptist University, to being an assistant at Washburn University and the University of Oklahoma, she has acquired a vast knowledge for the game to contribute to the Lady Cru basketball program.

Taylor plans to use her background as a beneficial coaching factor for the Lady Cru.

“I think I have obtained quite a bit of experience over the years, both in the good and bad. I strongly believe experience is the best teacher. The different programs that I have played and coached, has taught me what to do and what not to do to be successful,” she said.

As well as coaching, she also has experience as a player. Curliss-Taylor played two seasons of Division I women’s basketball at Oral Roberts University, where she was the team captain.

Having coached and played the game of basketball, Curliss-Taylor is giving the Crusaders different viewpoints of the game.

Her first aim is to build solid relationships.

“For a team to be successful, you have to have trust. My first goal is getting to know the current players and those who have already committed for next season,” she said.

Quickly getting to know the team is crucial for a new coach because each player has different skill sets.

“In the recruiting process, you really get to know players well. Since I wasn’t the one who recruited them, I have to get to know them in a different way. I think chemistry is a must for a successful team,” she said.

The semester is at it’s end meaning that the team will split up for the summer, and won’t reunite again until early August. With the 2012-2013 season coming up next semester, Curliss-Taylor needs to quickly prepare the team to fight their way through the regular season to an ASC championship.

 

Author: Jake Stamps

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