Barb Metcalf is relocating from her native North Dakota, where she coached West Fargo for 9 years, played in 6 state tournaments and 2 state finals in 2012 and 2013, and was named North Dakota coach of the year in 2014.…
Barb Metcalf is relocating from her native North Dakota, where she coached West Fargo for 9 years, played in 6 state tournaments and 2 state finals in 2012 and 2013, and was named North Dakota coach of the year in 2014. West Fargo was 148-72 under Metcalf over those 9 years. She is a graduate of Mary University in Bismarck. She replaces Chris VanderHyde, who has moved on Gustavus Adolphus as men’s assistant coach after 4 very eventful years at Park Center.
Now Metcalf takes over one of Minnesota’s high profile Class AAAA programs with 4 straight state tournament appearances, state Class AAA titles in 2014 and 2015 and 4 straight NW Suburban North titles.
The Pirates will be without last year’s senior class which accounted for most of these successes, including D1 recruit Mikayla Hayes and D2 recruits Danielle Schaub and Ann Simonet. The Pirates will not be favored to return to the state tournament, but on the other hand they have a deep roster of girls who have played a lot of basketball for 12 months a year for several years. They will be small, they will be quick, and under new coach Barb Metcalf they will….
Well, let’s ask coach Metcalf herself what we should expect from Park Center this season
How do you get started in a new situation? What are some of the first things that you do?
One of the things I’ve been visiting with the girls about at open gyms—you know, we can’t coach in the fall, but I’ve been observing what they can do here at the Breakdown, which is a real nice league—but I always tell my kids, you better come in in shape November 13. We’re of course going to do a lot of conditioning that first week, but I’m one of those coaches, I want to get started setting the groundwork for our Xs and Os and our defensive schemes.
And I’m really excited about this Park Center team, they’re a great group of young ladies. We got to work with them a little bit this summer. I see them around school all the time. I’m very fortunate to have coaches with me at the school. I’ve got (Katie) Kolles; I’ve got someone who people have heard about before, I’m sure, I’ve got (Patty) Sorenson who is coming out of retirement as a varsity assistant; and I’ve got (Jordan) Sallis with me as well. So we’ve got four varsity coaches, and I’m very excited about that.
Is there a Barb Metcalf game? Or, do look at your talent and figure out what kind of game to play with that group of kids?
Well, you know, it’s both things that you said. #1, when it comes to the style of play, I look at the personnel. And, #2, I’ve kind of got that Wooden philosophy. We’ll worry about what we do, and then other teams have to figure out how to stop us. I do think thie Park Center team that we’re going to have this year resembles a couple of teams I had back in North Dakota, where we were very successful.
But, for me I’ll also have to get used to no shot clock.
Not that Park Center has ever needed a shot clock (to speed everybody up).
Yeah, I don’t think we’re going to need the shot clock with the people we have, but it can benefit those teams that have a little more size, that run the half court, that run those kinds of patterns. But we’ll adjust. But they’ll have to adjust to what we do.
At this point, what do you think are going to be the keys to success?
Defense. Defense is always the key to success in any Barb Metcalf team and what we do on defense is going to fuel our offense. We have very athletic (players) and I’m confident we’re going to be able to run some very successful defensive schemes. I like to change it up but your man-to-man is always going to be your rooted system that feeds into the rest of your defensive schemes. We’re going shake it up a bit.
I’m sure you know that the Northwest Suburban is one of the top 2 or 3 conferences in the state. You’re not going to be having too many nights off.
You bet. I’m looking forward to that. It was the same way back home. The East Dakota Conference was always the toughest conference between the east and the west. And, that’s why we do this, we’re passionate about what we do, we’re passionate about kids, and I’m thrilled for the opportunity.