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Waugh enters first season for Xavier

By kyle isaacs
On October 27, 2011

Head coach Amy Waugh knows what it takes to build an elite women's basketball program. The Xavier women's basketball program has been to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament twice (in 2001 and 2010) in its history.

Waugh was part of both teams. The former Musketeer point guard led the program to its first Elite Eight appearance and was an assistant coach for Kevin McGuff when Xavier returned to the Elite Eight. In her first season as head coach, Waugh hopes for more deep tournament runs and the school's first Final Four berth. Entering this season, she has been dealt the difficult task of succeeding McGuff, who resigned in April to take the head coaching position at the University of Washington.

"You can't replace a coach like Kevin, who did such a great job. I just want to continue to build the tradition and reach new heights," Waugh said.

She is anxious to begin the season but is well aware of the difficulties that come with coaching a top-25 program. "We have a tough schedule with many difficult games early on in the season but we just need to remember to take it game by game," Waugh said.

Another difficulty that Waugh will face is the inexperience on the women's roster; the team lost four starters from last year, including two WNBA draft picks, Amber Harris and Ta'Shia Phillips.

Despite the youth, Waugh noted that this team has "worked harder than ever before" and is a "close and fun group to be around."

After only six months on the job, Waugh mentioned that her favorite aspect of coaching thus far was "being around the team and experiencing that family bond."

Waugh's playing days at Xavier should help her as she begins her head coaching career.

She believes the mentality she developed as a player will be beneficial to her as a head coach.

"[I hope] the team takes on the same mentality I had as a player, which is hard work and determination," Waugh said.

Waugh's playing career was littered with accomplishments and records. Currently, she holds the school record for career free throw percentage (.854), three-pointers made in a season (107), and free throws made in a season (146). In addition to her records, she gained national attention when she won the three-point shooting competition in the 15th annual ESPN College Slam Dunk and Three-Point Shooting Championship at the 2003 NCAA Men's Final Four. Waugh believes that her shooting skills are still intact. During her interview, Waugh did mention one person she could defeat: men's basketball coach Chris Mack.

"I could beat him in 1-on-1; he's older than I am. Even though he would dunk on me a few times, I'd definitely outshoot him," Waugh said.

Outside of basketball, Waugh Editorenjoys playing golf and spending time with her family. Unlike Mack, Waugh does not see herself becoming a renowned tweeter, though she does have a Twitter.

The official start of Waugh's head coaching career begins on Nov. 12 when Xavier plays host to Eastern Kentucky.

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