Salem College adds youth to women’s basketball coaching staff

Photo by Timothy Ramsey- Brianne Mack

Salem College adds youth to women’s basketball  coaching staff
August 31
02:28 2017

Salem College athletics have been the hidden gem in the area for years.  The all-women’s school competes in a number of sports, including basketball, where they just brought in new graduate assistant Brianne Mack to breathe new life into the program.

Mack, a recent graduate of Western Carolina University, will be obtaining her masters’ degree from Salem College while also coaching the women’s basketball team.  The Charlotte native attended South Lake Christian Academy for her high school career, where she was a stand-out player, garnering multiple Division I scholarship offers but chosing the Catamounts over everyone else.

During her collegiate career she sustained an injury that prohibited her from continuing her career any further, which she says led her into coaching.

“I actually have a fifth year of eligibility left but I just don’t have the body to play anymore, so I just channeled that passion into teaching other kids how to play the game,” she said.  “I took a year off after graduating and decided that I did want to pursue basketball coaching and Salem was the perfect fit for me.”

Mack says she heard of the position through networking with other coaches in the Triad area.  Once she saw the posting online for the open position she says “it just felt right.”  Upon visiting the campus she thought it was one of the “Top 10” most underrated campuses in the state of North Carolina.

“Salem College is beautiful and I told the head coach that,” she continued.  “I said I don’t understand why but you hear about all the other schools but you don’t really hear about Salem.  Maybe because it’s small and sort of a tight-knit community, but it is such a hidden gem.”

For Mack she says since her high school was somewhat small and her college was a mid-major, she felt Salem College would be a great place for her to start her coaching career.  She says Salem College gave her a “sense of community” that made her feel right at home immediately.

With this being her first venture into coaching, Mack looks to impart some of her expertise as an experienced low-post player to the women at Salem College.

“I mentor young girls in the AAU circuit in Charlotte and I do one-on-one personal training as well, so I do have experience training and mentoring, which will help me with coaching,” she said.  “I am just super excited to channel the passion that I have had for the game my entire life into making everybody else’s experience as fruitful as mine was.”

Salem College Women’s Head Basketball Coach Britni Mohney says she was looking for a young, ambitious graduate assistant who believed in what Salem College was about as an all women’s college.  She says she found all of those qualities with Mack.

“As soon as I brought Bri [Mack] onto campus she exerted all of the things I was looking for and beyond,” Mohney said.  “She bought into my system and what we are trying to sell here.  She is definitely going to be an asset to our program because we are opposites and that will be great for our program.”

Mohney believes that Mack will not only assist with the girls on the basketball court but because she is obtaining her Master’s degree in counseling, she will be able to help the girls off of it as well.

Mack says a successful first season for her is not based on the win-loss record.  She says she goes into every venture giving 100 percent and expects the same from her players, so she will consider that a step in the right direction and a success in and of itself.

“You have to keep God first and that’s something I truly believe in no matter what endeavor I’m going into,” says Mack.  “I cannot lose sight of what I am there to do, which is to give them a good experience.”

Being a former player along with being close in age to many of the players, Mack feels she will be able to go in immediately and relate well to the team. 

“I think my age will be a huge positive because it was not too long ago that I was on the hardwood and I was doing the things that they are doing,” Mack went on to say.  “I am relatable in a sense that I love all of the things they love.  I know all of the social media and popular culture things that an older coach may no know but I also create that divide with the players because I still have to be their coach.”

Mack says she is ready for her first game.  She thinks she will be nervous but they will be “happy nerves.”  She said she can’t wait to put everything she has learned up to this point into play.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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