Archive for Thursday, December 28, 2000

Freeland named coach

December 28, 2000

From May 25, 2000

A familiar face to the high school basketball program will be taking over the head coaching job for the Lady Cardinals.

Eudora High English teacher Gretchen Freeland, who has been an assistant girls basketball coach for the past three years, will replace Don Grosdidier as head coach next year.

Eudora head girls basketball coach Gretchen Freeland instructs
players during a summer basketball camp. Freeland took over the
Cardinals basketball program this fall.

Eudora head girls basketball coach Gretchen Freeland instructs players during a summer basketball camp. Freeland took over the Cardinals basketball program this fall.

Freeland, who played for the Lady Cards from 1989 to 1992, said she is excited about coaching for Eudora because of her ties to the basketball program.

"Basically, I love the program. I kind of felt like it was carrying out a family tradition, so to speak," she said. "I feel a tremendous loyalty to the Lady Cards basketball program. There is nowhere else I would rather coach."

After leaving Eudora High, Freeland played basketball at Emporia State University from 1992 to 1996. She said the techniques she learned from her basketball experiences should help in the new coaching position.

"One thing what really helped me is, while I was in college, I got to see several different coaches and several different coaching styles," she said. "I saw a lot of what I didn't like and a lot of what I liked and I've taken a lot from each one of those."

Freeland said she was able to pick up a lot offenses and defenses by playing against other schools in high school and college. Her college experience will also help Freeland relate to her players, she said.

"With the different experiences and the different coaches, I've seen so many interactions with players and how to communicate and deal with them," Freeland said.

Larry McPherson, district activities director, said Freeland should make a good head coach because of her strong background in basketball and her experience as an assistant coach.

"She'll do a good job. She's played enough college ball and high school ball," he said. "Grosdidier will be hard to follow, but she'll do a heck of a job."

McPherson said Freeland's familiarity with the players would also help her as coach.

"She also knows the kids. She knows where they're at and what they can do," he said.

Freeland said she knows what to expect from returning players because of the time she spent on the bench as assistant coach.

"Basically, I know the talent from last year and I'm familiar with the eighth-graders coming up," she said.

Despite the familiarity with the program, Freeland said she knows the head coaching position will be a lot of hard work, especially as she attempts to maintain the tradition Grosdidier developed.

"Part of the excitement of it is that I really respected Coach Grosdidier and what he's done with the program," she said. "There's a lot to live up to because he's just done an outstanding job with the program."

Freeland said Grosdidier has been a good mentor for her.

"He's been a great model for me throughout the years to learn from," she said. "He'll be one of my best supporters next year."

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