By MICHAEL H.
Daily Mining Gazette
DMG?Photo by David Archambeau
Alpena alum and Michigan Tech basketball coach Kim Cameron holds the 2010 Division II women’s basketball regional trophy. Cameron was named the new head coach at Michigan Tech on Thursday.
HOUGHTON - After less than two weeks of searching, former player and assistant coach Kim Cameron has been named the head coach of the Michigan Tech women's basketball team.
"The outpouring from season ticket holders, faculty, staff and alums was unbelievable in the last two weeks, saying she was family and she deserved the job," Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret said. "She's earned an opportunity to lead the program."
The file on
Michigan Tech Asst.2005-10
Alpena High 1998-2000
The Huskies have had 22 straight winning seasons with three coaches, including Kevin Borseth who now coaches the University of Michigan and John Barnes, who coached the team to back-to-back national quarterfinal appearances before taking an assistant coaching position with the University of Wisconsin earlier this month.
"One of the important things to the search committee, and to me, is that the program has a foundation that is very solid; we weren't looking for significant changes because what we've done over the past 20 years has worked," Sanregret said. "Building off the foundation of discipline, hard work, defense and strong academics is what Michigan Tech basketball has been about, and Kim brings to the table those very qualities."
Cameron, a 2001 Alpena High graduate, took the assistant coaching position in 2005 after finishing up a four-year career that included two years under Barnes' lead. As the assistant coach, the Huskies have won over 75 percent of their games, won three Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and qualified for four NCAA tournaments. Over the last two seasons the Huskies have held a top five ranking in terms of team GPA.
Her reputation grew with every year, and Barnes was proud to support Cameron in her bid for head coach.
"I'm very excited for Kim, she's worked hard the last five years to put herself in a position to have the administration think highly enough of her to give her the opportunity to coach at Tech," he said. "She's got a great background playing for Darla and five years of assistant coaching. Once you have that many years in, it's time to try your hand at being head coach."
The moment after Barnes accepted the job, Cameron's first stop was to see Sanregret where she started her campaign for the position.
"It's definitely something that over the last couple of years I have been looking forward to," Cameron said. "I've went through the most important years of my life with community support, alumni support, great coaches, a great experience and a great community. I know what it's like to live through that and now I get to hopefully lead other people to that."
Sarah Stream, a guard on this year's team that was a freshman when Cameron was a senior, sees Cameron as a great fit for the program.
"Kim did an excellent job as an assistant for five years and she loves the program and would do anything for it," Stream said. "I think she deserves the job and I know she's going to continue Michigan Tech's tradition of success."
Cameron said the philosophies will be largely the same, with a defensively stout team, but she said the new group of players will cause a small change in the offense end.
"Some of our offensive philosophies will probably change a little bit with the less-experienced girls. They'll probably need a little more freedom to roam, probably run some more motion stuff, as opposed to play after play," Cameron said. "The concepts that we've built our program around are going to stay."
While some might expect her first couple years to be rough, losing all five starting seniors, Cameron thinks the Huskies will be ready to go in 2010-11.
"These kids are going to surprise people and I'm looking forward to showing the girls on the team, the community and the alumni what they've been missing with these kids not getting the experience," Cameron said. "These kids are absolutely fearless and they are going to learn, grow, succeed and get better and it will be very obvious. It will be a very fun ride."