During the 2018 WBCA Convention, Sue Phillips, head coach of Archbishop Mitty High School, was honored as the Wilson Sporting Goods/WBCA National High School Coach of the Year.
Phillips’ dedication to the game led her squad to a No. 1 final national ranking, a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Girls Basketball regional final appearance, and a perfect 24-0 record.
While being honored at convention, Phillips appeared in a panel discussion alongside other coach of the year recipients. Below are her comments:
Q: How are you able to sustain your team’s level of excellence?
A: I would defer to my players. I have many talented and hardworking players. In fact, I have seven players here today (at the 2018 WBCA Convention) who I coached back in my mid-20s, who are a testament to our legacy and how we pay attention to detail.
Quite frankly, we try not to get outworked, and we never sacrifice our integrity for a win. We do things the right way.
I’m proud to say that over the past six years, we’ve had 20-win seasons, consecutively. And, it’s a testament to the players and the staff.
Q: Were there any foreseeable or unforeseeable impacts that you experienced this year? If so, how did you handle them?
A: This year, our team suffered a significant injury to our starting center a week before the playoffs — an ACL injury. I’ll just speak to the importance of guarding against staying with certain lineups. I think versatility, continuing to look to positionless basketball, continuing to play players in different spots, and really embracing that notion (is key).
I think we did an amazing job because our kids were comfortable and able to pick up the pieces playing at different spots on the floor and executing all plays on both ends of the floor.
And, continue to develop your bench.
Q: What was your favorite moment from the season?
A: After winning a big tournament in December — which propelled us to the top of the national polls — the kids made a bet with the coaching staff that we wouldn’t all jump in this fountain at our hotel. So, we jumped in the fountain, and yeah, it was funny.
Q: What do you think makes women’s basketball so special?
A: I think it’s the sisterhood. We had our team banquet last week and to see these gals and women that joined me (interact) — it was like time hadn’t passed.
They will always show up for each other through life, in the locker room and on game day. I am incredibly proud of what these women have built in this sisterhood and the love and respect they have for each other.
Friday, April 27, 2018