Scranton’s women’s basketball team has a new head coach for the first time in 34 years, but new coach Deanna Klingman is in no way a stranger to the program. Klingman was a star on Scranton’s basketball team when she was a student, and she was the starting point guard for the team in 1985 when it won the NCAA Division III championship. That year, she was named the NCAA Division III Player of the Year.
Klingman’s dedication to The University continued after her graduation, when she assisted with the team for years under former coach Mike Strong. Deanna was named head coach following Strong’s retirement. Strong had a great influence on his former player and coaching assistant.
“He has been a mentor for me over the past 30 years. Of course as my former college coach, but also he’s a great friend of mine. He’s helped me along greatly in my coaching career for the last 26 years,” Klingman said.
Klingman will carry on many of Strong’s coaching methods and philosophies. She especially noted how high a standard Strong set for those coming into the program.
“I feel obligated to continue on that great tradition,” she said.
While many things will stay the same for the team, there will be a few changes this season.
“We’re running different drills at practice. We’ve implemented some tweaks in the offense and a new defensive strategy,” Klingman said.
Klingman has been very pleased with how well the players have picked up the new strategies. She said they are all looking forward to games starting and seeing their work in practice transfer to game situations. According to Klingman, the team has high expectations and is determined to win a conference championship and make a run in the NCAA tournament.
“I’ve been a part of the program for years and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to help them get to their ultimate goals,” she said.
Klingman said the transition has been smooth, and she is very excited for this opportunity.
Nov. 13, 2014