After 17 years of coaching at Castleton, head women’s basketball coach Tim Barrett has proven his coaching philosophy to be true. But it didn’t just happen all at once. It has developed over time throughout the seasons starting with the men’s basketball team in the summer of 1998.
Barrett started out as the assistant men’s basketball coach at Castleton for three years. But found he wasn’t having much success through and when the opportunity came to be head coach of the women’s team, he ran with it. After three consecutive North Atlantic Conference championship titles, and numerous visits to the ECAC tournament what is his secret to coaching?
“It is all about the process. Each season has its own feel. I haven’t even brought up last year, maybe once. There are two things as an athlete that you have 100% control of, effort and attitude,” Barrett said “That is the success. It is more about the players I have had, not about me.”
“He does things to bring us together as a team. He will try to irritate us to make us work harder for us and not him,” said Lindsay Sabo, sophomore guard.
The roster this year consists of seven new freshman and outstanding leadership from the returning players including senior forward and Captain, Meghan O’Sullivan. This is O’Sullivan’s fourth year with Barrett.
“Even from my recruit visit, it has been more pleasurable here than any other school I looked at. He is helpful and friendly, he is extremely knowledgeable and holds us to high expectations,” said O’Sullivan.
The team hit the ground running starting this past summer with the help of O’Sullivan and junior guard, Bryanna Dupont. Barrett asked his veteran players to keep in contact either through social media or in person with new and incoming freshman recruits. Each veteran had a couple different girls to be their “buddy.”
“Being a commuter makes it hard to connect with the girls but as you spend more time together you get closer,” said Taylor Raiche, freshman guard. “We started right in the summer and spent almost every day together, practice, workouts, and going to Huden,” said Morgan Raiche, freshman forward. The two identical twin guards came in as freshman this year from just a few towns over in Ira.
“They established good relationships off the court as well,” said Barrett. The women’s basketball team has not only succeeded on the court, but off the court as well. “As long as they work hard as an athlete and a student success will come” said Barrett. For three consecutive years the team has also held a team GPA of 3.5. For student athletes that is an incredible goal to reach.
On the court the team keeps a positive attitude by picking each other up, working hard for one another, and being honest with each other. As long as each individual can hold each other accountable and be honest, a team’s bond can be one of the most crucial pieces to a successful season.
“Rosters change every year, I have been fortunate enough to have a lot of talented players come through the women’s program. Which has helped lead to our success” said Barrett.
“Coach is stern to his philosophy and holds us accountable because he expects a lot,” said O’Sullivan “He focuses on organized fundamental basketball, because the wins will come.”
Ask any of the players on the team what Coach Barrett is known for at practice, and their response will be that the word WIN is almost never used.
“We have a lot of success on defense as we are primarily a man to man team. Executing on offense is important, but when you stress the things you want to take care of like rebounding and defense the wins will take care of themselves,” Barrett said.
As the season begins to creep closer to playoffs, the wins continue to take care of themselves. But it is quite bittersweet for some.
“I am really thankful for the playing time I have had, and how much I have improved. I will be hard to leave,” said O’Sullivan. “There is nothing better. It is an honor to go into senior year with no losses.”