Washington Catholic will have a new mentor for the Lady Cardinals’ basketball team this winter.
Brant Stevens, an assistant on last year’s team, will take over from Jimmy Beasley Sr., who was 1-20 last season in his only year of coaching at WC.
Stevens will be the fifth coach in the last seven seasons for the Lady Cardinals, and he said he understands the challenges of taking over a program that has won just 10 games during that stretch.
“We are going to focus on fundamentals and skills at first. We can’t be worried about just wins,” said Stevens.
Stevens played high school basketball at Bloomington North, and his father is a member of the Indiana basketball Hall of Fame. He also played with former BN player Duany Duany, who later played his college basketball at Wisconsin.
Although Stevens is teaching at Washington Catholic, he is also known to Washington track athletes, as he was the throwing coach for the Lady Hatchet track team for two seasons.
“I’m glad I got a chance to coach these girls last year because I think it gave me a chance to build up a rapport with them. I have worked with them all summer as well, and I think they understand what I’m looking for.
“It also helps that I am in the school with them. I get a chance to keep an eye on academics and other things that are going on. I feel like my personal style is to find a way to build rapport and make things fun,” Stevens added. “I want these kids to have fun and really enjoy coming to practice.”
Stevens said that they had about 12-13 girls show up and have consistently been getting seven or eight at open gym. He said they essentially return their core group from last season, really only losing one player from last year. He said that Rocky O’Brian has been helping him this summer, but he is not sure how the staff will look in the future.
The Lady Cardinals are hoping to break a trend that has not seen them win a sectional game since 2007 or posted a winning season since 2004-2005 under Jim Mackey. However, WC does have a history of success, as Mackey also led the team to the 2004 Class A State finals. From 2000-01 to 2004-05, WC averaged 17 wins a year under coaches Greg Werner, Steve Reed and Mackey.