News Columns & Blogs

Five reasons Jaime Green is a good hire for Newman

So I’ll be at Newman tomorrow morning to meet the new women’s basketball coach, and I think if you’re a Jets fan in any way, you should be pretty excited about the prospect of Jaime Green deciding to leave Labette Community College to coach at your school.

And you know I love lists, so here’s 5 reasons why:

1. Quite literally, she won the job. Newman athletic director Vic Trilli would have liked to have been watching the Jets’ men’s basketball team play in the Heartland Conference tournament down in Texas last month … instead he was looking for his women’s basketball coach. Trilli, smartly, staked out the Jayhawk women’s tournament and you got the feeling there were a few coaches there that were on an audition (whether they knew it or not at the time) for the job at Newman. Green led Labette to the Region VI championship and did so in impressive fashion.

2. And … she won in Parsons. Parsons. Say it one more time, she won in Pars…okay you get it. It’s tough to win at Labette — they’ve got a great, supportive community down there in southeast Kansas, but very few resources to sell the program with. Like, for example … they don’t have dorms. It’’s a place where Region VI championships do not go for their final resting place. But Green figured out a way to do it, bringing in the right players to fit her system then getting them to stick together through the season. Spent much time around JuCos? That ain’t easy.

3. She let her team do this during the season. And this. I know that letting your team get a fan page on Facebook and letting them blog about their season is nothing new, but I’m always impressed when coaches embrace this sort of thing. The kids that are playing college ball right now, in case you didn’t know this already, are a generation called the Millenials. Doing stuff like this means something to them. It doesn’t mean anything to somebody over 30, like me … I just care if you won or lost and how you did it and how you got to the point you’re at. But to them, it’s everything. An entire generation defined by their social-media status. Sigh. Deep sigh.

4. She’s going to go after the MIAA. What the Jets get is a coach who played in the MIAA (Missouri Southern) so she knows what level of student-athletes fit at an MIAA school … and while the Jets might play in the Heartland Conference, they’re battling for recruits with the MIAA schools. And they get to play those schools, too, and wins there mean so much when you’re going into a kid’s home and they’ve got a final three of Emporia State, Pitt State and Newman. MIAA schools are also Newman’s natural rivals, so there’s that.

5. She’ll make Newman a contender. Do I need to explain why this is important?

See you in the morning.