Kate Lynch named head women’s basketball coach
Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer
Kate Lynch helped Southern Connecticut State women’s basketball win a National Championship in 2007, as a player. She has now come back to the school as the head coach with the same goal in mind.
“I honestly think we have some really great pieces. Anything is possible as long as you put in the work day in and day out,” said Lynch. “It’s not easy to be a NCAA tournament team or win a National Championship, it takes a little bit of time to change the culture.”
Lynch’s resume speaks for itself. She is the all-time leading scorer at Southern, a two-time All-American, and was a part of 103 victories during her playing career. On top of that, she was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.
Lynch said that she is excited about the roster she has inherited. With five returning seniors, the Owls will look to make some noise in the Northeast-10 Conference this year.
But with any coaching change, a big issue can be having players that buy in. Lynch said she thinks that this group is ready to buy in and take on the challenge.
“I’ve noticed that all of our players are really open and excited about the change. That’s half the battle right there,” said Lynch. “They’re willing to work hard and know what it takes to win.”
One player that is anxious to take the court for her new coach is forward Jackie Beathea. The All Northeast-10 Conference selection last year said she is looking to build on that performance this year.
“From the conversations we’ve had I feel like coach Lynch can help us reach a level to where we can achieve our goal this year,” said Beathea. “I feel like she’s the coach who can guide us to where we need to be as a whole.”
Beathea will be a key piece for Lynch’s squad. Not only is she one of the five returning seniors, but also she averaged 13.2 points and 11.1 rebounds per game and looks to be the main cog in the offense this year.
Another player that Lynch will have to use in her rotation is junior, Maria Weselyj. She averaged seven points and a rebound per game a season ago. Weselyj said that she thinks Lynch can help her take her game to a new level.
“My first impression of coach Lynch is that she’s super approachable,” said Weselyj. “I can talk to her about anything. She always wants to know what we’re doing. She is definitely knowledgeable as well.”
It was always Lynch’s dream to come back to Southern and be able to be the head coach of her alma mater. She had some pit stops along the way at Molloy College and the Community College of Rhode Island, but she finally feels at home now.
“Coming back to Southern has always been my goal,” said Lynch. “This is where my heart is and always has been. It’s just such an amazing feeling to be back here with everyone.”
With Lynch being a National Champion in her playing career she thinks that can only help the team she is currently coaching this year.
“Being able to tell the players that we’ve been very good and I’ve won here at Southern kind of speaks for itself,” said Lynch. “They know that as long as they put in the work and stay together that anything’s possible.”
Photo Credit: Athletic Communications