Q: Let's move over to college athletics in general. You're the highest-profile women's coach in Maryland. You're part of a very well-regarded coaching triumvirate here with a couple of fairly dynamic other characters, to put it mildly, interesting other characters. From the outside, I think people view this, especially about the time that Debbie Yow was leaving, that there is some kind of soap opera going on here. Is that a misconception?
A: Absolutely. I think you have a lot of coaches and administrators that are driven and we're all extremely competitive, and I think everyone has their own reasons for being who they are. I don't think anybody can fault Debbie Yow for wanting to move back after the death of her sister and probably that experience for her — losing her older sister and wanting to move closer to home — I think we all completely understand it.
Q: Debbie brought you here and she put a big emphasis on women's athletics, and I assume that won't change, but on a personal level, do you miss her?
A: Yeah, absolutely. When your athletic director who hired you and was a women's coach herself and wanted to be at every game as much as she could be, to have that kind of mentorship. She was a mentor for me, but I do feel like she's prepared me for anything. I'm going into my ninth year here now, but I do miss those opportunities to go step up in her office and just [be] a sounding board, so to speak. But having said that, Kevin Anderson has done a tremendous job. Since hearing the news about Tyler and everything that he has been carrying on his plate, his presence has been huge. I welcome having a new relationship with Kevin.
Q: There have actually been two major changes in the administration — Kevin and a new university president. Does that affect your program? Does that affect anything you do?
A: No, you know the president and the athletic director here at Maryland, they've always been supportive. The goals haven't changed, to be a top-10 program and be as successful as you can be. I think we all say that in the interim, when no one was hired yet, every coach continued to stay the course, and you're as driven as you possibly can be. I think, if anything, they just enhance the experience. They make it more pleasant, and they can add to what already is a pretty special environment.
Q: I've read a few interviews with you, and you've said a few times that you want Maryland to be the last stop on your coaching tour. You're a fairly young woman. Is that realistic?
A: I hope this is where I get to retire. You look at the success that a lot of Division I coaches have had, when you finally get to retire where you want it to be your last stop. Maryland is a dream come true for me. I love everything about coaching here. This area. Living here. Raising my children here. My husband went to school here. His family is all from the area. There is no other place that I would rather be.
Q: Women's basketball has come a long way over the past 30 years. Now, you have a sustainable professional league and you have a level of play that has advanced to the point where I often hear my crusty old male sports fan friends say that the women are the only ones who play real basketball anymore. They play the game right. Have we finally gotten to a comfort zone in the game? Is this where it is? Is this the equilibrium now — the college game is healthy, and there is a sustainable professional league — or is there more to accomplish from the standpoint of recognition of the game, popularity of the professional game and the evolution of talent?
A: I think our sport is not that old. I think when you look at the speed and the athleticism and the strength, the game has gone full-circle seeing the versatility of players now, playing multiple positions, the size, getting personal trainers at an earlier age, I mean the game has just taken off in that area. The recognition, when you talk about the visibility and the exposure of the media, all our games being on television for the NCAA tournament — the national recognition, all of that, has just taken off. I still think there is room to grow. Attendance, overall, throughout the universities, can absolutely improve, and I think there's going to be even more parity as the game continues to unfold.
Q: Last question: When you were a banged-up senior basketball player at Arizona, could you have envisioned any of this?
A: (Laughing) No, not at all. When I was at Arizona, I was just hoping that I could coach high school and kind of follow a mentor of mine. Coach Paul James was my high school coach, and I was hoping to be able to go in that direction. But I always remember my dad telling us growing up that you can do even more than [you] even realize, and he was absolutely right.