The Lady Spartans are off to another perennial season after winning seven straight games.
The team has so far breezed through its 2013-14 schedule with a 17-2 record just a year after going 29-2.
It’s no secret that since Tim Barrett has been head coach, the girls have had nothing but success.
After coaching for 13 years, Barrett has 245 wins in his pocket and a 70 percent win percentage. So what’s his secret?
In a recent interview with a sports writing class, Barrett said recruiting is key.
First, he said, a database is created each year with 300 to 400 possible athletes to look at.
But that is just the first stage of an ongoing process.
“There is no dead period in Division three recruiting,” Barrett said, adding that he is committed to chasing solid players all year round.
When on recruiting trips, Barrett said he looks for girls with character on and off the court, but he finds it equally important to develop relationships with each player.
After 13 years Barrett has only had 2 players leave the program.
Alyssa Leonard, a senior on the team, said she was very surprised with the overall communication Barrett and his staff had with her and how consistently they came to watch her play. Leonard said the staff would even sit and connect with her parents, which also stood out from other schools looking to recruit.
Senior player Stephanie Bull agrees.
“He doesn’t just care about basketball, he cares about my personal life and how I’m doing as well as academics, and how my friends are doing. He cares about you as a person, not just as his athlete,” Bull said.
During the bus ride home from a game last season no one knew Barrett had hit his 200th win that night until a player had found out and asked why he didn’t say anything about it.
“Well, Spartans won tonight.” Barrett said.
Barrett said he spends a lot of time communicating with the girls and working on preparation.
“He prepares like no one else in the league,” said Jeff Weld, a former assistant coach.
One of the team’s greatest strengths is defense and knowing how to strategize. Barrett said they spend a great deal of time preparing for each game and his players can see that too.
“He is always adapting our style of play to the people that we have on the team
He is great at recognizing personnel and utilizing our strengths,” Leonard said.
But Barrett gives all the credit to the girls.
“You’re only as good as the players you have on your team,” he said in a genuine tone. “Success breeds success sometimes.”
Andrew Cremins contributed to story.