McLoughlin new Dowagiac girls hoop coachPublished 5:39pm Wednesday, July 28, 2010
By SCOTT NOVAK
Dowagiac Daily News
After spending two years as the Dowagiac junior varsity girls’ basketball coach, Emily McLoughlin was ready to take that next step.
She was named the new Chieftain varsity coach 10 days ago.
She replaced Dick O’Day, who spent two years at the helm of the Dowagiac program, but resigned following the season.
She inherits a team that went 7-14 overall and 7-11 in the Wolverine Conference.
Gone from that squad are several key starters, including All-Stater Torie Lowe, who finished as a four-time All-Wolverine Conference selection.
Lowe, who scored more than 1,300 points in her career, leaves the program as the second all-time leading scorer for either girls or boys.
First-year Athletic Director Scott Lawler said that McLoughlin’s experience with the program was a key to her selection to replace O’Day.
“She’s already familiar with the girls. She’s coached the girls,” Lawler said. “She looks like she is going to have a bright future and she has a passion for our high school.”
Lawler was also looking for someone who had a plan and an idea of the direction they wanted to take the program.
McLoughlin had both.
“She had the understanding of the need to help out the middle school, freshmen and JV programs,” he said. “She knows that you have to have a structure that filters into the varsity program. She has a plan for that and that was one of the things I was looking for. Somebody who is going disciplined and take the program, I don’t want to say to a new level, but one that will meet her goals.”
McLoughlin feels she is ready for the challenge.
“I just felt I was ready and this is the next logical step to take,” she said. “I want to take us to the next level and I want to win.”
She added that improvement is needed in every aspect of the game.
Last year Dowagiac averaged 43.9 points per game with Lowe scoring nearly half of those. The Chieftains gave up 45.9 points a game.
“I think we have some talent,” McLoughlin said of her first team. “I think the big thing is we all have to be on the same page. They have to be on the same page as I am. I think we can play more to certain kids’ strengths. In practice, we have to work on improving their weaknesses.
“We want to build something that is going to grow. We want to start with the younger kids and get them into our program. I am going to work closely with the junior high,” she added.
McLoughlin is a graduate of Lake Michigan Catholic. She began her coaching career at Eau Claire before coming to Dowagiac in 2008.