From the Cheap Seats: Faith in Fogel

Published 2010-11-02T15:58:00Z”/>

opinion/columnists

Lindsey Barrett

I know it’s early November, but I am ready for the highly anticipated Wildcat basketball season.

One very specific reason I can’t wait to spend nights in the bleachers of Acker Gym is because of the officially signed women’s head coach, Brian Fogel.

In August, after spending the past two seasons as an interim coach with a Chico State record of 39-23, Fogel was named as head coach.

Fogel first arrived on campus as an assistant coach for Molly Goodenbour for the 2007-2008 season. Goodenbour left the Wildcats after one season to coach at UC Irvine, a Division-I program.

Over the past few seasons, it has been hard for the women’s team to establish any long-term coaching relationships. Since the 2002-2003 season, the women’s team has had three coaches – Lynne Roberts for four seasons, who now coaches at the University of Pacific, Goodenbour and now Fogel.

From an outsider’s view, it looks as if Chico State has been a jumping-off point for women’s coaches and given them a chance to get to bigger programs.

But I have a feeling that Fogel isn’t going to be the sort of coach who leaves after a season or two. He seems dedicated, involved and serious about building relationships with his players and the community that backs the Wildcats.

He expects a lot from this team, who is coming off a previous season where they made it to the NCAA Championship Tournament West Region title game, the sweet 16.

“I want to see a team that plays hard, a team that competes, a team that’s compassionate and a team that has some discipline and plays unselfish,” he said.

Fogel thinks Roberts and Goodenbour didn’t have ties to the league, which was one of the reasons they left, he said. Also, he knew they would go on to other schools because of their winning seasons and the opportunities that came their way.

“I’m not an alumni, but I have a connection to the league in a sense that as old as I am, I competed when it was called the Northern California Athletic Conference,” he said of his time playing at Sonoma State. “I have a bit more tie to this conference than the previous coaches.”

But what would draw Fogel away to a bigger named school or conference?

“$9 million,” he said jokingly, before seriously answering the question. “It would have to be the absolute best situation ever, and I don’t even know what that is.”

Finally the women’s team has a coach they can count on for more than one season, and one who has shown dedication to the Chico State program  – and I can’t wait to see what happens.

“My commitment right here, right now is to Chico and this team, and I don’t look past my commitment,” Fogel said.

Lindsey Barrett can be reached at [email protected]

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