Seasoned basketball coach steps into new position

Posted on 24 September 2014 by admin

Women’s basketball coach Shelly Ethridge talks about coaching, and her new position as chair of the Physical Education Department

Khalia Miller shakes Ethridge’s hand after signing STLCC papers on April 9, 2014.

Khalia Miller shakes Ethridge’s hand after signing STLCC papers on April 9, 2014.

By: BRITTNEY FARROW
Staff Writer

Shelly Ethridge has been an instructor at STLCC-Meramec for seven years, and has been coaching the women’s basketball team for six seasons. Since becoming the head coach of the women’s team in 2009, Ethridge has led them to three consecutive NCAA Women’s Division II tournaments and was named the Great Rivers Athletic Conference Coach of the Year twice. Now she is taking on a completely new role in her position as chair of the Physical Education Department.

As the chair of the Physical Education Department, Shelly Ethridge has several responsibilities. When her position took effect in May, she was put in charge of a laundry list of tasks.

As part of her duties, she is responsible for providing input and information at meetings, building the curriculum and class schedules for the Physical Education Department and making herself available to students and faculty to address their concerns. Due to her busy schedule, Ethridge said she has had to be very conscious of her time and has learned to spend it wisely.

“Much of my mornings are devoted strictly to the academic aspect of my job. The afternoon is when I have team time and complete workouts with the team,” Ethridge said.

While in college, Ethridge played basketball on a full ride scholarship at Eastern Illinois University. Her interest in sports, however, goes back much further than that.

“I grew up in New Baden, Illinois. I loved playing any sport possible, and there were many neighborhood kids – mostly boys – who would get together and play competitive games,” Ethridge said.

While at Mater Dei High School, Ethridge played four sports, but the school did not have girls’ basketball until her sophomore year when she and her parents made a petition to start a team.

Ethridge has played basketball since childhood on her own, but she received a lot of recognition and attention throughout her high school career. She is listed on the Athletics Hall of Fame on the Mater Dei website.

As a coach, Shelly Ethridge has seven years of experience at four-year institutions, but she said she prefers coaching at a two-year level. At two-year institutions, student athletes are required to hone their skills if they want to advance, and Ethridge said the best part of coaching at Meramec is seeing the student athletes go on and be successful.

“Our student athletes come in motivated and goal-oriented. They want to get to the next level and play at a quality four-year institution. When they make the choice to play for us, they know they are coming to a program that will make them better, on and off the court,” says Ethridge.

Despite being at Meramec for several years and coaching for many seasons, Ethridge believes she learns something new every day. She said as a coach, she must be willing to learn alongside her athletes.

“Every year is different, every kid is different,” Ethridge said. “You’re learning about them; how they respond best to your coaching, how they are growing [and] how you can get the most out of them.”

Ethridge said she hopes she and the other members of the Physical Education faculty will strive to continue stressing the importance of lifelong fitness and the benefits of being physically active and fit.

“We have a tremendous faculty in our department who are passionate about the classes they teach and engaging their students,” Ethridge said.

“They are also very dedicated to the mission of making our department even stronger and showcasing our value to the students and the institution.”

 

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