Pioneer Spotlight: Megan Wilson
Megan Wilson, head women’s basketball coach, is entering her eighth season at UW-Platteville. As a NCAA Division III national champion herself, she knows the road to success and has proven so during her career. Despite taking on additional roles as associate athletic director and senior woman administrator this year, Wilson enjoys taking a step back from the athletics department to spend time with her three children, compete in CrossFit competitions, and work on home improvement DIYs.
You’re entering your eighth season as head women’s basketball coach at UW-Platteville. What is your favorite part of this position?
I think it’s really just seeing the impact that you can leave on student-athletes. One of the things that we really pride ourselves on is giving our student-athletes experiences that they may not otherwise get if they weren’t in women’s basketball at UW-Platteville. That comes in many different forms — from creating good character traits and being a positive role model, to traveling to a tournament in Puerto Rico. I guess my favorite part really isn’t the basketball coaching, but instead, the life coaching and being able to see student-athletes transition from their freshman to senior years.
Do you have any goals set in place for the 2017-18 basketball season?
I have lofty expectations. We’ve had a couple of tougher years, but my incoming juniors and seniors have a lot of experience now. We have high expectations of being one of the top teams in the WIAC. Last year, we were very competitive and were in a ton of games, so the goal for this year is to make that conference tournament and also host a home WIAC tournament game. Essentially, the goal is to get to the NCAA tournament, which is our end goal every year. We use the term #chasin’ a lot on the team. #chasin’ in the classroom, #chasin’ in the weight room, and #chasin’ in the gym. It means working hard even when nobody else is watching. It’s about having integrity and putting in the work that’s going to be required to reach our goals. We’re chasing an opportunity to make the tournament, giving us a shot at a conference championship.
Whether it’s been an entire season or just one game, what has your favorite memory from the last seven seasons as coach been?
I think it would have been the year that my first recruiting class were seniors. Not only did we make it to the WIAC tournament for the second consecutive year, but it was the first time that UW-Platteville women had hosted a home WIAC tournament game. It was just a special group of girls. I knew from the get-go that they were the type of student-athletes whom I wanted to work with. That year was filled with so many great memories.
How would you explain your coaching style and efforts?
Nothing can replace hard work and determination. I would say, hands down, I have the most coachable and hard working student-athletes in this league. That pays off over time, and that’s what we’re starting to see as they come in as freshmen compared to where they are as seniors. I try to set a good example for my student-athletes in terms of my choices and work ethic. I try to let them know that you don’t always get what you want, but you get what you work for. It just takes having the right kids, and looking back on some of the seasons we’ve been most successful, the kids have been the answer.
This year will be different for you, as you’ve taken on the additional roles of associate athletic director and senior woman administrator. What has it been like so far and what are some of the duties of these positions?
It’s been really good. Athletic administration is a path that I’ve wanted to go down for a while. It’s coaching in a sense — you’re coaching other coaches. I like being involved in the budgeting process and helping all of the coaches with their budgets. I’m also working with Shannon James Ealy, our new athletic director, on the entire athletic department’s budget and making sure we’re staying fiscally responsible. As senior woman administrator, I serve as a female representative when we’re making decisions that affect the entire department. It’s very humbling to sit at a table with senior administrators and advocate for our women’s sports programs at UW-Platteville. It’s an honor for me to be able to do that.
Interview conducted by Amanda Bertolozzi, Writer/Editor, Communications. To nominate someone for the Pioneer Spotlight, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.