NEWS, NOTES &
The Bradsher Beat
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
By Bethany Bradsher
Disarray dissipates as Macy
All rights reserved.
(ECU SID Photo)
It may be a
relatively calm time of year to be a basketball coach, but there was
nothing tranquil about Heather Macy’s arrival in Greenville.
When Macy was hired as
the new East Carolina women’s basketball coach on April 30, she was the
second person to hold that position in four days.
who was introduced as the coach on April 26, had announced
the day before that he was declining the offer and staying at
It was the most
tumultuous week in memory for the fans and followers of the Lady Pirates,
who were still reeling from the departure of Sharon Baldwin-Tener on April
17. In her eight seasons at the helm, Baldwin-Tener led ECU to more wins
than any other coach in program history.
So the stage that was set
for Macy was complicated, to say the least. But she also walked into an
opportunity to fill a leadership vacuum with laser focus and clear goals for
the team. After nearly two weeks on the job she characterizes as “a dream
come true,” she is nearly done hiring her staff and just scratching the
surface of her next vital task — getting to know her players well.
“Besides the staff, the
single most important thing we’re doing is developing relationships with
these returning players,” she said. “The big thing is that these kids love
it here, they’re happy here, they believe in what we’re doing. And that
would have been a large hurdle to overcome.”
Macy came to East
Carolina from Francis Marion University, where she compiled a 75-19 record
over five years and took the Patriots to the NCAA Division II tournament
Before going to Francis
Marion, Macy was a head coach at Pfeiffer College, and she worked as an
assistant at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, High Point
University, Lenoir-Rhyne and Catawba College.
A Hamptonville native,
she is a 2000 graduate of Greensboro College.
““This was a no brainer
for me,” she said. “Getting back to North Carolina, being part of a program
like this one, and the opportunity to compete in Conference USA and compete
for the NCAA tournament, it just felt like a dream come true.”
Allison Spivey, whose
senior season will be Macy’s rookie season as the ECU coach, said that the
players and their new coach have had two meetings. The first was like a
business meeting, focusing on policies and expectations. The second was more
informal, a chance to hang out together, laugh and get acquainted.
“It was a lot of fun,”
Spivey said. “We took down the shield.”
Even if she won’t be able
to put her new Pirates through a real workout until the fall, Macy has seen
enough to know that she has the ideal personnel to execute the lightning-
fast style of play that she plans to introduce.
“The kids fit exactly the
style of play we want to play,” she said. “We want to play very up-tempo. We
want to lead the country in scoring.”
Step one in reaching that
goal is beefing up the team’s strength and conditioning plans for the months
ahead. Macy has already met with the team’s strength coach to ensure the
player’s summer workouts will lead them to success when they take the court.
exhausting to play this way, so the strength component is huge for our
success,” she said. “The summer months are really going to help us. (The
style of play) will be much faster, with trapping and pressing and running
and jumping. It’s a breakneck pace, and I want them to play defense like
their hair’s on fire.
"The pace is going to be
different, but their athleticism is there, so it’s just a matter of tapping
into that extra gear.”
The Lady Pirates finished
last season 23-11 and averaged 71.5 points a game, so they already have a
penchant for finding the basket, Spivey said. But Macy’s revved up style
should make for the kind of basketball that fans love to watch and players
love to plug into.
“I think it’s going
to be to our benefit, because we have players who like to run and
players who can score and run the court,” Spivey said.
E-mail Bethany Bradsher
Bethany Bradsher Archives
05/12/2010 02:00 AM